Posts Tagged ‘artist’

The world ash tree of the computer hardware industry… crystalline silicon from 1854.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
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The element silicon best represents the digital era of the mid 20th century to the present; without its crystalline form, there would be no computers (or this blog). Although it was first prepared in pure amorphous (powder) form around 1823[1] by Berzelius, it was not until 1854 that Henri Sainte-Claire Deville made it in crystalline form, using metallic aluminium to isolate it. He described it [1] as having a “metallic luster”.

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References

  1. "The discovery of the elements. XII. Other elements isolated with the aid of potassium and sodium: Beryllium, boron, silicon, and aluminum", @ACHS, 1932. http://doi.org/10.1021/ed009p1386

Breakdowns in communication: the two cultures

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
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In his famous lecture in 1959, C. P. Snow wrote about the breakdown in communications between the “two cultures” of modern society — the sciences and the humanities (arts). That was then. This is now, and the occasion of my visit to a spectacular “city of arts and sciences complex” in Europe. An un-missable exhibit representing science and life was the 15m high model of DNA. Now to be fair this is styled an artist’s impression, and one presumes that an artist is allowed license. But how much license? And at how much expense to the science? And is there a counterbalance to the art where the science is fastidiously (but artistically) preserved?

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