At the Crossroads of Chemistry, Materials Science and Art

Oganov, Artem Romayevich
D.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics, Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Skoltech, Professor of Misis, Member of the European Academy and Full Member of the Royal Chemical Society, Full Member of the American Physical Society, Moscow, Russia

Artists and scientists explore and describe the same world, but by different means. The centuries-old history has shown how fruitful the union of science and art can be. A few examples that will be discussed in the report:

  1. Carbon nanoparticles and Buckminster Fuller’s creativity.
  2. The lost recipe and the amazing properties of Damascus steel.
  3. The Lycurgus Cup from the British Museum: a nanotechnological mystery for a millennium and a half.
  4. Rediscovering an ancient recipe for making porcelain thanks to a happy accident.
  5. The medieval problem of blue paint and the discovery of Berlin azure – an amazing substance and favorite paint of Vincent van Gogh and Japanese masters.
  6. Violet manganese is Claude Monet’s favorite paint, and its property, which even Monet himself might not have known about.

These examples show how works of art can contain complex riddles, the disclosure of which is important for science. They also show how important the progress of science is for art.

Keywords: new materials, nanotechnology, artifacts of art and culture
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