Nanomaterials were made in antiquity

Mankind has used nanotechnology for thousands and hundreds of years back, but had no idea about it. Ancient Egyptians and Romans, Maya Indians, medieval masters of Europe received materials, consisting of ordered nanoparticles, which gave them unusual quality. Photos from open sources For example, the famous blue Maya paint, which has retained its brightness to this day, turned out by mixing organic particles (indigo tree) and inorganic (clay) origin. Organic dyes like as a rule, they are easily destroyed, however, in this case, the union with inorganic nanostructures provided them with good protection. At by mixing indigo particles are “embedded” in nanostructured particles of philosilicates, which provided a magnificent, resistant blue pigment for ceramic products and murals. Spanish scientists found that when mixing clay palygorskita (paligorskita) with indigo dye also formed small impurities of nanostructured iron oxide. They were found in all samples of paint in an amount of 0.5 percent. It is believed that they give strength to staining, therefore, despite rudimentary technology and 1300 years of age, Maya murals still shine with the splendor of blue. But before maya The Egyptians used nanokraska. Group of researchers under the leadership of Philip Walter of the Center for Research and Restoration French museums proved that the Egyptians prepared it for dyeing hair black. First they made a paste of lime lead oxide and a small amount of water. In the mixing process Up to five nanoparticles of galena (lead sulfide) were obtained nanometers. Natural black hair color provides pigment melanin, which in the form of inclusions is distributed in the keratin of the hair. Coloring paste reacted with sulfur, which is part of keratin, and provided uniform and steady coloring. In this process affected only hair, and lead compounds in the scalp did not penetrated. Solid nanomaterials were also made in antiquity. IN Rome master made the famous Cup of Lycurgus around the 4th century BC ad. In daylight, it is opaque and has a green color. But if you place a light source inside, the walls of the goblet become transparent and red. Turned out to be responsible for these changes in the gold and silver nanoparticles that make up the material from 50 to 100 nanometers in size. Another interesting example the use of nanotechnology in antiquity is the manufacture Stained glass cathedrals in medieval Europe. Shades obtained by heating and cooling the glass. What did not know medieval masters, so it is that through this process they change the size of the crystals and, therefore, their color at the nanoscale. Scientists believe that stained glass was not only works art, but also photocatalytic air purifiers, removing organic pollution. Served as catalysts gold nanoparticles, which retain their ability now. Tiny particles of gold on a glass surface when exposed sunlight becomes excited and destroys organic pollution. Damascus-Forged Swords Still since then have an excellent reputation. Europe first met damask steel in a collision of the army of Alexander the Great with troops Indian King Pora. Very hard, resistant steel blade how a razor cut hair on the fly. Recent research by scientists University of Dresden showed the existence of carbon nanotubes in steel, which are formed by a special forging. Analysis of a sample of steel dissolved in hydrochloric acid, showed a similarity of the metal structure with carbon nanotubes. They are formed when heated to 800 degrees Celsius from hydrocarbons inside micropores, and the catalyst could serve as vanadium, chromium, manganese, cobalt, nickel and some rare earths metals contained in ore. Cyclic machining (forging) and the corresponding temperature regime gradually distributed carbon nanotubes in planes parallel forging planes, making the microstructure of steel fine-grained and lamellar. The secrets of these and other productions were transmitted from generation to generation, however, the reasons for the unique properties of materials not investigated. And only after the development of the science of nanotechnology scientists were able to explain them. The prefix “nano-” means one billionth part of the whole. Nanotechnologies include the creation and the use of materials, devices and technical systems, the functioning of which is determined by the nanostructure, that is, its ordered fragments from one to one hundred nanometers in size (nanometer is one billionth of a meter). Beginning of conscious work in the field of nanotechnology is associated with the name of the laureate Richard Feynman Nobel Prize, which he read in 1959 in front of colleagues a lecture and described the first ideas underlying nanotechnology. “I would describe an area in which very little has been done, but which has great prospects and technical application. I I want to talk about the problem of particle manipulation and control extremely small scale. I can’t know exactly what will happen, but I have no doubt that if we find a way control these particles, then get access to a wide range properties that these materials can represent, and we can do incredible things, “said Feynman. However, although the scientist is brilliant foresaw the future, it took decades to create tools that allow you to observe, create and manage substances at the nanoscale. Only in 1981 by G. Binnig and G. Rohrer invented an electronic scanning tunnel microscope (STM), with which you can move atoms. In 1986 the year these employees of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory received the Nobel Prize for their discovery. Modern electron and atomic force microscopes provide an increase in five million times. With the help of these devices it became possible explore and explain the previously mysterious properties of the ancients nanotechnology.

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