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Blue: In Search of Nature's Rarest Color by…
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Blue: In Search of Nature's Rarest Color (edition 2021)

by Kai Kupferschmidt (Author)

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504441,162 (4.6)1
A globe-trotting quest to find blue in the natural world--and to understand our collective obsession with this captivating color Search human history and you'll quickly conclude that we've been enamored of blue at least since the pharaohs. So, it's startling to turn to the realms of nature and discover that "true" blue is truly rare. From the rain forest's morpho butterfly to the blue jay flitting past your window, few living things are blue--and most that appear so are performing sleight of hand with physics or chemistry. Cornflowers use the pigment found in red roses to achieve their blue hue. Even the blue sky above us is a trick of the light. Science journalist Kai Kupferschmidt has been fascinated by blue since childhood. In Blue, his quest to understand the science and nature of his favorite color takes him from a biotech laboratory in Japan and a volcanic lake in Oregon to Brandenburg, Germany-- home of the last surviving blue-feathered Spix's macaws. Whether it's deep underground where blue crystals grow or miles overhead where astronauts gaze down at our "blue marble" planet, wherever we do find Earth's rarest color, it always has a story to tell.  … (more)
Member:Deepakd
Title:Blue: In Search of Nature's Rarest Color
Authors:Kai Kupferschmidt (Author)
Info:The Experiment (2021), 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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Blue: In Search of Nature's Rarest Color by Kai Kupferschmidt

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New works of popular science nonfiction are examining fascinating scientific themes through entertaining stories. Educators will find these useful in identifying timely examples for their classrooms.

Blue: In Search of Nature’s Rarest Color
Kai Kupferschmidt, Jul 2021, The Experiment, an imprint of Workman
Themes: science, physics, optics, light, color

BLUE take readers on an adventure around to globe to identify examples of this rare color in minerals, animals, and plants. It also examines the science behind the color blue and its impact on human life.
Take-aways: Occurring less frequently in nature than other colors, blue is a color associated with both science and social science topics. ( )
  eduscapes | Feb 3, 2022 |
Throughout history, blue is the rarest color in the natural world. People have searched for, fought for, and wasted fortunes on finding a true natural blue. The historical demand for blue has been so great that alchemists and scientists pursued artificial ways to create the color. Resulting patents abound. What is the allure of the color blue? Why is it so hard to find?
Journalist Kai Kupferschmidt has spent his life drawn to the color blue. Now he draws his readers into his world of meticulous of searching and researching the color and the role it has played in society. I have always be fascinated by colors and have read several books about pigments. Kupferschmidt has shown me that my prior knowledge was only scratching the surface of color. I highly recommend this for those that enthralled with pigments and their origins.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
#Blue #NetGalley ( )
  Bibliophilly | Nov 19, 2021 |
Indigo. Ultramarine. Lapis Lazuli. Prussian blue. Throughout human history, we have sought to emulate the colors of sea and sky—but the process has been more challenging than with any other hue. For decades, botanists have labored unsuccessfully to create a blue rose; the results of early chemists sometimes turned out to be toxic. Why is blue different than all other colors? It appears only rarely in nature: in the feathers of prized birds or on certain flower petals. And yet, when we look closely, the blue often disappears. The answers have to do with how our eyes work, the molecular structure of various elements, and even human language itself. This fascinating book delves into art, chemistry, biology, physics, geology, history, and literature in order to elucidate the beautiful mysterious color blue. Richly illustrated (as it should be) with gorgeous colors and helpful diagrams, as well as quotes from poetry and prose, the book also contains a surprising personal revelation at the end.

Disclosure: I received a gratis copy of this title to review it for Seattle Book Review. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Oct 13, 2021 |
Blue: In Search of Nature's Rarest Color by Kai Kupferschmidt is a very highly recommended well-balanced historical, societal, and scientific examination of the color blue.

The color blue is special. It is the favorite color of many people. We see it in the sky and the ocean. Blue is unique in nature and causes pause and awe when we discovered it by happenstance in rocks, birds, and flowers. It is captured in art and crafts but it is also a rare color in the natural world. The color blue and how we see it can be explained through physics, chemistry, and biology, but our reaction to it is personal. Kupferschmidt sets out in Blue to explain the color through science, but also follow the historical and natural appearance of the color. The art world has long searched for a blue pigment to use in painting.

True blue is rare. Ancient Egyptians perfected the first blue ceramic glaze and it was revered. Civilizations have continually looked for a source of the color blue. Interestingly enough, Kupferschmidt first introduces us to chemist Mas Subramanian, a chemist who in 2009 created the first new blue pigment in 200 years. The color was immediately lauded by industries and artists. It is called "Yin Min" based on its components: yttrium oxide, indium oxide, and manganese oxide. There have been other discoveries of blue, for example indigo from India and Prussian blue which is also a created pigment.

Kupferschmidt covers the world in his quest to find blue, follow the various uses of blue in societies, and explain scientifically the how and why of the color. The chemistry of blue and the various ways people have tried to create it is covered. He also follows how humans versus other animals see blue biologically. And then there is the long quest to develop a blue rose.

If you enjoy excellent scientific writing, you will relish this book. The photographs are gorgeous. (My review edition didn't have color photos and I immediately went online to find photos to see everything blue mentioned. The photos make an excellent case to buy a copy of the book.) There is a table of blues and where they occur in animal, vegetable and mineral. What made my heart beat faster was the fact that: "While we’ve been up here on the planet’s surface, doing everything we can for thousands of years to produce new blue pigments from Earth’s minerals, there is - below our feet, unimaginable and inaccessible - a gigantic reservoir of blue stone." What a wonderful, awe-inspiring fact. Originally published in Germany as Blau, the English edition was translated by Mike Mitchell.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of The Experiment in exchange for my honest opinion.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2021/05/blue-in-search-of-natures-rarest-color.ht...
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3991761426 ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | May 9, 2021 |
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A globe-trotting quest to find blue in the natural world--and to understand our collective obsession with this captivating color Search human history and you'll quickly conclude that we've been enamored of blue at least since the pharaohs. So, it's startling to turn to the realms of nature and discover that "true" blue is truly rare. From the rain forest's morpho butterfly to the blue jay flitting past your window, few living things are blue--and most that appear so are performing sleight of hand with physics or chemistry. Cornflowers use the pigment found in red roses to achieve their blue hue. Even the blue sky above us is a trick of the light. Science journalist Kai Kupferschmidt has been fascinated by blue since childhood. In Blue, his quest to understand the science and nature of his favorite color takes him from a biotech laboratory in Japan and a volcanic lake in Oregon to Brandenburg, Germany-- home of the last surviving blue-feathered Spix's macaws. Whether it's deep underground where blue crystals grow or miles overhead where astronauts gaze down at our "blue marble" planet, wherever we do find Earth's rarest color, it always has a story to tell.  

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