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Green with Envy
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Green with Envy

June 10, 2010
Green with Envy Like raindrops crystallizing into snowflakes as they fall, some polymers can crystallize in a similar way, starting from a central point and growing outwards in all directions. They are like spheres of crystals and, hence, are called spherulites. To fill space, they grow into each other forming the polyhedrons (multi-sided figures) that you see. If you look at the crystal in a polarizing microscope, the Maltese cross pattern is seen. By filtering the light, the different colors can be used to provide information on the structure. More about this ImageThis imagery provides a unique avenue by which an interest and appreciation of scientific research can be nurtured. It is precisely this concept that underpins VISUAL (Ventures in Science Using Art Laboratory), a recently launched educational outreach program of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Polymers (MRSEC) (supported by the National Science Foundation's Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers Program) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. VISUAL is based on the premise that the visual arts can serve as an effective means to stimulate, educate and promote materials science research to the general public and to students of all ages.


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