Thursday, October 06, 2005

What On Earth Is This?

Is this some modern art painting by an undiscovered master? A wall mural, perhaps? No, my friends, this is a photo of liquid crystals, taken with an electron microscope. I think I found this photo on a site recommended by Inanna.......

Inanna lives at: and she likes science about as much as I do. But I might have found this link at: - he hasn't been posting much lately though, and I can't remember how long I have had the pic.

When I was in college, I ran across a book with many photos of elements and mineral crystals taken with electron microscopes, and I was hooked from the beginning. The artist in me was drawn (no pun intended) to these images from nature like none other. I remember one in particular got my attention, it was of molybdenum. I have never forgotten that name - though I don't know what it is or what purpose it serves. Guess I should Google it, huh? Anyway, that photo stayed in my mind for years. I had visions of painting something with that as a theme, but I could never do it justice. I was unsuccessful in finding a good photo of molybdenum, but here is one page Google sent me to:

Name: molybdenum
Symbol: Mo
Atomic number: 42
Atomic weight: 95.94 (2) g
CAS Registry ID: 7439-98-7
Group number: 6
Group name: (none)
Period number: 5
Block: d-block

Standard state: solid at 298 K
Colour: grey metallic
Classification: Metallic
Availability: molybdenum is available in many forms including foil, sheet, wire, insulated wire, mesh, rod, powder, nanosized activated powder, and tube.

How dry is that? So technical and plain. Sure doesn't sound like it would have a beautiful appearance, does it? It reminds me of some people I have met: gorgeous on the outside, but dry and uninteresting on the inside. And on the other hand, some who are plain and unremarkable to look at are the most interesting, intelligent, multi-layered people you could imagine. Isn't there a lesson there somewhere?


Laura said...

Yes, there's a very good leson in there. Unfortunately, some people never learn it!
It's great when they do. ;)

COngrats on the 10K for the hits! Here's to the next 10,000. :)

Weary Hag said...

I love the lesson at the end. The post gave me a headache because I don't do science (or math) very well. Just the other day I came upon a site with liquid photography. It was amazing. I'll have to try to find that link and send it to you in email. I know you'd enjoy it tremendously!

The photo is gorgeous!

Duke_of_Earle said...


Here's a dry, uninteresting comment. (Does that mean that maybe I'm actually interesting, intelligent and multi-layered? Hope so!)

The little plant where I work was owned for a few years by Unocal. They also have a division that mines moly (as most call it to avoid mispronunciation, or spitting). I spent a day at an open pit moly mine in Questa, NM. It was/is a fascinating operation.

DO Google "molybdenum" and read about its uses. It's quite valuable, as well as beautiful under lots of magnification.


Duke_of_Earle said...

Oh, and congrats on 10,000 hits! I'm about 250 behind you!


Suburban Turmoil said...

Love the picture. It reminds me of the fractal video my algebra teacher used to bring for us to watch in class. I've never seen anyone that enamored by math!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, then there are people like me who are both pretty and intelligent/remarkable. Probably a dying breed, though. At least that's what my doctor says is the next great thing in my life.

Molybdenum is like hafnium, only a lot different.

Jamie Dawn said...

Let's start a club called Women Against Molybdenum People.

I think you are probably in the category of beautiful on the inside AND the outside. It's called Judybdomny.

Minerva said...

What a wonderful metaphor and you are right about those colours...I would love to have them on a light bulb in my bedroom..very restful...



utenzi said...

Nope, no lesson there that I can see, Judy. Congratulations on hitting 10,000 and now going beyond that!

srp said...

Great lesson there Judy. Are you sure you aren't a "closet minister"? Slip the message in there right after you get them sucked in with the pretty picture. Ha! Ha!. I also liked the commenter who said they call it Molly ---"to keep from spitting". Now, that paints quite a picture.

Carmi said...

Hiya Judy. Not lost on me is the fact that I rely on molybdenum every day. Combined with steel in a lightweight and strong alloy, it forms the basis of my beloved bicycle's pink-painted frame, and it keeps me safe and on-time on my daily commute.

Cool, huh?

(I love stuff like this. Thanks for the spotlight!)

Oh, someone we know rather well sent me - this time out.