Scientist Wim L. Noorduin Coaxes Chemicals to Beautiful Blooms

 - May 24, 2013
References: visualnews
At first, a person might look at Wim L. Noorduin's images and assume that he is a talented macro photographer. In reality, he is a Harvard scientist who has learned how to manipulate microscopic chemicals to form beautiful blooms anyone would want to pluck on put on the dining room table. Adept at arranging crystals into leaves and petals, Wim L. Noorduin has created works of art that could be hung on the walls of a gallery.

Although Wim L. Noorduin makes the process seem easy, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences reports, "[He and] his colleagues dissolve barium chloride (a salt) and sodium silicate (also known as waterglass) into a beaker of water. Carbon dioxide from air naturally dissolves in the water, setting off a reaction which precipitates barium carbonate crystals. As a byproduct, it also lowers the pH of the solution immediately surrounding the crystals, which then triggers a reaction with the dissolved waterglass." Sounds pretty complicated.