Hope everyone in the U.S. had an amazing vacation.
I didn’t think this was possible, but according to the New York Times it is: scientists have invented a new shade of blue!
Blue pigments of the past have often been expensive (ultramarine blue was made from the gemstone lapis lazuli, ground up), poisonous (cobalt blue is a possible carcinogen and Prussian blue, another well-known pigment, can leach cyanide) or apt to fade (many of the organic ones fall apart when exposed to acid or heat).
So it was a pleasant surprise to chemists at Oregon State University when they created a new, durable and brilliantly blue pigment by accident.
The researchers were trying to make compounds with novel electronic properties, mixing manganese oxide, which is black, with other chemicals and heating them to high temperatures.