If you think all the colors on the spectrum have already been discovered, get ready to swear a blue streak: Thanks to a "happy, accidental" discovery by scientists, our world has just become a little more true blue.
Oregon State University chemist Mas Subramanian and his team discovered YInMn blue — named after the elements Yttrium, Indium and Manganese — while experimenting with materials for electronics applications, OSU reports in a press release.
Now, you may look at this pigment and think, "I've seen that," or "it looks a lot like cobalt blue." And that's true: It's definitely blue, and it's definitely beautifully bright. But there's more to it if you dig deeper.
The pigment forms in such a way that red and green wavelengths are absorbed, and light reflects back only blue. It's super-durable and stable and does not fade. Also, because of this unique structure, it can be used on buildings and roofs to keep them cool by reflecting infrared light.
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And none of the pigment ingredients are toxic, though we're not suggesting you use them as a food ingredient.
"The more we discover about the pigment, the more interesting it gets," said Subramanian in the press release. "We already knew it had advantages of being more durable, safe and fairly easy to produce. Now it also appears to be a new candidate for energy efficiency."
Interested in repainting your house for max energy efficiency? According to ZME Science, you can already order the new pigment from the Shepherd Color Company. We're looking forward to newly coloring our world!
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