The Loh Down On Science

An artist and a jellyfish team up

Vincent Van Gogh?   Or should we say Vincent Van Glow?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Meet Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde.  He enjoys creating art that makes people and technology interact.  Like disco lights powered by dancing feet!

When Dutch engineers wanted fresh ideas for energy-neutral streetlights, they turned to Roosegaarde.

He said:   Jellyfish.  Why not mimic jellyfish?  They emit light all on their own!  They don’t need an external energy source!

Together, he and the engineers developed a special paint.  It contains a photo-luminescent powder.  During daytime, sunlight charges it, like solar panels.  At night the paint releases that energy by emitting a green glow.  It lasts for ten hours.

Painted on roadway medians, the glowing stripe eliminates the need for streetlights.  That saves energy, too.  Roosegaarde envisions a temperature-sensitive version.  It would glow snowflake shapes when it’s freezing outside and pavement is slippery.

So far the stripes have only been painted on a short test section of road.

But if it performs well, it’ll be good to Van Gogh!  Sorry.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


blog comments powered by Disqus