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Über dieses Buch

In this brief, Mary Virginia Orna details the history of color from the chemical point of view. Beginning with the first recorded uses of color and ending in the development of our modern chemical industry, this rich, yet concise exposition shows us how color pervades every aspect of our lives. Our consciousness, our perceptions, our useful appliances and tools, our playthings, our entertainment, our health, and our diagnostic apparatus – all involve color and are based in no small part on chemistry.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction: Colors, Natural and Synthetic, in the Ancient World

Abstract
Color is important. It gives life to everything people do, think, and even say. In the days when color television sets were expensive, and the corner bar was in sole possession of one, the neighborhood center became the corner bar. Color sensation is a universal human experience. From the beginning of recorded history, references to color abound in connection with every aspect of human life.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 2. Discovery of the Physics of Color

Abstract
Anyone who has shared the company of three-year old children for an afternoon will recognize the conversation. Everything you say is challenged immediately with their favorite word—why? Newly arrived in the world and fascinated by all they see, three-year olds want to know the why of everything. They live in a world of mystery, wonder, and possibility—where magic is real and reality is magic. As we explore the discovery of the physics of color origin and perception, put yourself in the place of the three-year old who always wants to know why. Or put yourself in the place of the discoverers themselves who must have been filled with awe at what they learned and communicated to the world for the first time.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 3. The Chemical Causes of Color

Abstract
Thousands of tourists from all over the world flock to two island sites at opposite ends of the earth from one another for no other reason than to gaze in awe and wonder at the color phenomenon each one is famous for. Hawaii’s Green Sand Beach on the southernmost point of the Big Island boasts an entire beach covered with tiny olivine crystals that sparkle like emeralds in the tropical sun. Olivine is a common constituent of lava flows, but only in this one place has it been found of gem quality—the crystals in this case seem to have floated on a former lava lake. Around the globe in the North Atlantic, a unique body of water known as the Blue Lagoon on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula plays host to about 400,000 visitors a year who come to take a dip in this unique body of water—also an indirect product of an ancient lava flow flooded by the transforming effluent from a nearby geothermal power plant. What is it about some materials that give rise to these and so many other wonderful colors? Why are other substances colorless, and can we modify them to produce color? The answers to these questions are not simple, and they involve awareness of several important insights regarding the nature of matter, particularly atoms and molecules.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 4. Colorant Usage from Antiquity to the Perkin Era

Abstract
Images of butterflies, cats, dogs, fairies, ghosts, witches, wizards… kids of all ages love having their faces painted in these fanciful ways. They stand in a long tradition. From ancient times, body and face paints have been used for cosmetic, ceremonial, military, and religious reasons. There is reliable archaeological evidence that human beings have painted faces and bodies since the very beginning. The ancient Picts used red ochre, as well as woad (an indigo-bearing native plant). Julius Caesar remarked in book five of De Bello Gallico, “All Britons paint themselves with woad, which grows wild and produces a blue dye. This gives them a terrifying appearance in battle”.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 5. Beyond Perkin

Abstract
As one might expect, following Perkin’s discovery, many industrial dyers and chemists began systematic searches for additional aniline colors by mixing aniline with just about anything they could think of Among these experimenters was François Emmanuel Verguin (1814–1864) who, as early as 1858, discovered a red dye, later called aniline red, made by treating aniline with anhydrous stannous chloride.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 6. Major Analytical Techniques Based on Color: Volumetric Analysis; Chromatography; Spectroscopy; Color Measurement

Abstract
An old adage among analytical chemists of a “certain age” is that when you see a color change, you can be sure that it marks a chemical change. While this observation may not be entirely true in every instance, it certainly paid homage to the human eye as the detector par excellence in the early days of chemistry.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 7. Color on the Biological and Biochemical Front

Abstract
One of the many things that the German dye companies excelled at was seeing the long-range and global picture and acting upon it. They went very large-scale on virtually every front, utilizing all the weapons that science and technology had to offer. They found that doing so enabled them to synthesize two important natural colorants, indigo and alizarin, thus eliminating the industry’s dependence on natural products and imports—the dye industry could now not only be self-sufficient, but could use the know-how generated in these key syntheses to make many other derivatives. In addition to setting up large laboratories that employed hundreds of chemists, they built libraries that had subscriptions to virtually every scholarly science journal in the Western world, they established dedicated bureaus to patent discoveries, and they virtually “wrote the book” on abstracting services by having these offices work around the clock and not only in the area of chemistry, but in every other domain that might afford them related knowledge—biology, the emerging area of biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, photography, and explosives.
Mary Virginia Orna

Chapter 8. Finale: Color in Foods, Photochemistry, Photoluminescence, Pharmaceuticals, Fireworks, Fun, and the Future

Abstract
This final chapter will alliteratively pick up many topics that fell outside the trajectory traced by the history–chemistry—color interface in the previous seven chapters. We will see how colored additives affected the food quality of the past and, by extension, how color has affected, and continues to influence, so many other aspects of our daily lives.
Mary Virginia Orna

Backmatter

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