Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sugar, polarized.

Sample: Some common table sugar, both in granulated form and crstallized from water.
Source: Wal-Mart.

Sugars are chiral molecules. That is to say, they have "handedness." One of the consequences of this is that they rotate plane-polarized light. How this works exactly and what the consequences are is a discussion for another venue. All we care about is that it looks nice.

Granulated sugar, 60x. Boooooring.

Granulated Sugar, 60x. Polarized Light!

Granulated Sugar 200x, Polarized Light.

Freshly Recrystallized Sugar, 10x, Polarized Light.

Recrystallized Sugar, 60x, Polarized Light.

Recrystallized Sugar, 200x, Polarized Light.


Blogger swan_pr said...

fascinating! very original blog, I love it. you're in my bookmarks now :)

1:46 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

Thanks! It's always nice to hear people actually look at this thing. :)

3:44 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I've been looking at it, Jacob. It's the art of science.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

I agree with you, Tiffany. I think sometimes people underestimate the aesthetic value of science. And just as often, scientists continually fail to capture aesthetic or (in some cases) correctly focused images.

6:30 PM  

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