Ancient Romans and Nanotechnology
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:"
One of the most interesting artifacts at the British Museum is the Lycurgus Cup, a beautiful goblet made by the Romans sixteen hundred years ago. The cup depicts the story of King Lycurgus, entangled in grapevines for his treachery against Dionysus, the god of wine in Greek mythology.
But it's not the design that makes the cup of such great interest to scientists. When viewing the cup in normal lighting, the glass is jade green. But when the cup is lit from behind, the glass changes to a bright ruby red. What is this ancient sorcery that gives the cup its color-changing properties? It's the precise amount of silver and gold nanoparticles dispersed throughout the glass material.
New research has discovered that the cup even changes colors when liquid is poured into it. Scientists replicated the makeup of the cup and then filled it with various liquids. Their results suggest the cup might have displayed many different colors depending on what sort of beverage was poured into to it.
As one science website puts it, "researchers are just now, all these years later, learning about such color changing properties of materials with embedded nanoparticles. The hope is that these properties can be exploited to perform chemistry or medical tests cheaply and quickly by displaying different colors under different conditions."
Creationists need not wonder how the ancient Romans knew about nanotechnology. However far back you go in history, the ingenuity of man points to the even greater ingenuity of his Creator!
Notes: phys.org/news/2013-08-goblet-ancient-romans-nanotechnology.html#jCp. Photo credit: The Trustees of the British Museum. Creation Moments, Inc., P.O. Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 www.creationmoments.com
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