The Art and Chemistry of Light

Tom Schmedake, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, UNC Charlotte

(meets at UNC Charlotte)

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

What a beautify description of color! We live in a world of unlimited color. So many shades, tones and hues. And they are all generated by the matter that makes up our world, which absorbs, reflects, scatters and emits light of every color, and ultimately inspires writers like Kerouac to pen those vivid words.  Fellows will explore the art and chemistry of light. We will explore the way that chemistry determines the colors of objects around us, how those colors can change and how we perceive them. From deceptively simple questions like, why is the grass green? Or why is the sky blue? To ways that we can control color and generate any color at will… using literature, art and chemistry.

This seminar is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council,

a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Explore curriculum units developed by Fellows in this seminar here.