Light, But Not Delicate Courtesy HRL Labs
"It was when I started to learn how to grow mushrooms. The initial impulse was to figure out how to grow reishi mushrooms as medicine, but when I started cultivating them and learned their growth habits, I immediately wanted to work with them as an art material– a casting material. It was a casting material that could be altered as it was setting. In casting, the amount of time you can work with the material before it sets is called “open time.” In plaster that might be five minutes, and in cement it might be a couple hours. But with mushrooms, the open time is almost as long as you can keep them alive. You can start to think about plasticity and forming things through much more subtle encouragement. The shapes can be controlled via the environment: the temperature, the position in relation to gravity, all these things that we take for granted, but are profound shapers of the world. You can begin to play with these factors and use them as non-physical tools of manipulation. Light, gravity, heat and the cleanliness of the environment determine the form, as opposed to a chisel or a drill or something like that."
Researchers have studied these “diamonds” since the weevil’s discovery in the early 19th century but, until recently, no one knew know how the scales reflected so much light."
Atom-probe tomography (APT) of "the black teeth of an Eastern beaded chiton, a sea mollusk, are used for scraping algae from rocks. They are capped with one of the hardest biominerals known, a nanocomposite of magnetite and chitin-based fibers. (Credit: Image courtesy of Northwestern University) "
"Teeth and bone are important and complex structures in humans and other animals, but little is actually known about their chemical structure at the atomic scale. What exactly gives them their renowned toughness, hardness and strength? How do organisms control the synthesis of these advanced functional composites?"
Luminescent concrete emits light by means of phosphorescence. Ultraviolet light is absorbed and re-emitted at higher wave-lengths, creating a visible glow. When the phosphorescent pigment is added to expansion cement, an uneven distribution provides record of mixing strokes. When the phosphorescent pigment is used as an aggregate in concrete, the even distribution promotes average uniformity in light emission. As the concrete surface erodes, virgin aggregate is exposed, extending the lifespan of luminescence.
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