Sunday, August 25, 2013
As most of you know, I am interested in many different subjects. Science, human consciousness and the ancient world are three of those subjects. Today I discovered a fascinating article in Smithsonian about a 1,600-year-old Roman glass goblet, called the Lycurgus Cup, that looks jade green when you shine a light on it from a position in front of the goblet and red if you shine a light from behind it.
For many years, no one could figure out why the glass changed color.
The mystery wasn’t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing—“an amazing feat,” says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.
The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer’s position. Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential. “The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art,” Liu says. “We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications.”
Liu and his colleagues imprinted billions of tiny wells imprinted billions of tiny wells onto a plastic plate about the size of a postage stamp and sprayed the wells with gold or silver nanoparticles, essentially creating an array with billions of ultra-miniature Lycurgus Cups. When water, oil, sugar solutions and salt solutions were poured into the wells, they displayed a range of easy-to-distinguish colors—light green for water and red for oil, for example. The prototype was 100 times more sensitive to altered levels of salt in solution than current commercial sensors using similar techniques. It may one day make its way into handheld devices for detecting pathogens in samples of saliva or urine, or for thwarting terrorists trying to carry dangerous liquids onto airplanes.
I always wonder when I read an article like this how the discovery was made?
Around 400 AD, why and how would someone grind down precious metals of gold and silver into particles smaller than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt?
Where do innovative ideas come from?
Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology, proposed the idea that all humans are connected to and can communicate with each other via what he called the collective unconscious.
Dean Radin is a contemporary scientist who has spent most of his professional life researching a phenomena, which he calls psi, by which humans can communicate at a distance instantaneously without using a telephone or any other apparent means of communication. Although he has demonstrated that humans can communicate at a distance via thought at a rate that consistently exceeds chance, they cannot do it all of the time.
Despite his experimental results, Radin cannot explain how communication happens other than to say that human minds are entangled. Until he or someone else does, mainstream scientists are unlikely to accept his experimental results.
Some people believe that time does not exist.
Do you believe in Radin’s entangled minds or Jung’s collective unconscious?
Do you believe people can communicate with each other via entanglement or the collective unconscious in the past and the future as well as the present?
Might this explain why an artisan in 400 AD created the Lycurgus Cup?