Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Million Bubbles


With 100 posts under my belt I thought the best way to begin the next 100 would be to start with a new header picture. 


This time it comes from a collection of the winners of Chemical and Engeneering News’ inaugural photography competition in which:

[…] readers responded enthusiastically, submitting nearly 250 images on all things chemical. Connected loosely by the broad theme "Your Science Up Close," the photos in this collection range from the macroscopic to the microscopic and from the everyday lab scene to the "that wasn't supposed to happen."

All captions for photographs taken from Chemical and Engineering News’ website.


A magnetic stirrer, a beaker of water, and colored paper were all Robert L. D'Ordine, a biochemist in Ballwin, Mo., needed to capture this familiar laboratory phenomenon. "I would watch the vortex form as the stirrer sped up. Sometimes it was quite relaxing," D'Ordine says.



As an undergraduate, Ryan O'Donnell, now at Johns Hopkins University, studied explosives with ion mobility spectrometry. The colorful birefringence pattern in this image comes from examining a micrometer-sized ammonium nitrate crystallite via cross-polarization light microscopy.



Thomas Lazzara, a Ph.D. student at Georg August University's GÖttingen Institute for Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry in Germany, captured this image of vesicles fluorescently labeled with Texas Red and filled with sucrose as they sank to the bottom of a petri dish filled with a low-density buffer.




In the Natural Polymers & Photonics Laboratory at Drexel University, researchers convert polysaccharides into nanofibers and thin films for use water purification and other applications. In Marjorie S. Austero's experiment, adding excess cross-linker to chitosan yielded the fine-fibered material seen in the colored SEM image (top). Keith J. Fahnestock's chitosan-electrospinning run (results shown at bottom) didn't go as planned. Rather than generating nanoscale fibers, the experiment produced micrometer-sized blobs. "In science, never cry over spilt milk. Take a picture of it instead," Fahnestock suggests.


Artist: David Sedaris/ Album: Me Talk Pretty One Day (yeah yeah, it’s an audio book, get over it)

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