October 03 2008 / by Lani
Category: Technology Year: General Rating: 6 Hot
There was once a color deemed so dull, and expensive that no artist would touch it. It produced weak colors. It looked bad. And, soon it was forgotten.
That is, until, one day, over two hundred years later, when a group of researchers at the University of Washington found something that would change Cobalt Green’s legacy forever. The discovery? Cobalt Green has the potential to revolutionize the way we use computers. Imagine turning on your computer and within seconds getting immediate access to your hard drive instead of having to wait on end for everything to boot up. Imagine a hard drive with almost infinite storage. Imagine that all this would only leave a footprint the size of a pea.
It’s simply a matter of color.
So, how does work?
Swedish chemist Sven Rinmann invented Cobalt Green in 1780. Also known as Rinmann’s Green, it was originally produced by using a mixture of zinc oxide and cobalt. What makes it so valuable to scientists today is its unique magnetic properties and what they mean for the emerging field of spintronics. Current technology relies on the movement and accumulation of electrons. Spintronics, on the other hand, exploits the spin of electrons to increase computational power in a device. More power means a faster and efficient machine.
Thus far, researchers have run into problems with temperature. Most materials work well only in extremely cold temperatures. Cobalt Green, however, can be used at room temperature.
According to University of Washington’s Professor Daniel Gamelin, a device, such as a semiconductor using spintronics would ultimately have to exhibit magnetic qualities at room temperature in order to function successfully. In other words, Cobalt Green’s magnetic properties have serious product potential. If further studies prove fruitful, Cobalt Green could be used to develop a device—a sort of super computer—that would not only make computing faster than ever, but also require a modicum of energy.
There’s hope for the crayon box yet. After all, the little color that couldn’t managed to make a superstar comeback.