Rachel Weiss Clark’s graduate school research on luminescent materials put her in a position to crank up this classic science fair experiment up a notch. If the water in a vase holding roses or carnations has dye in it, the flower will take up the dye along with the water, bringing new color into the flower’s petals. Food coloring or highlighter ink are the normal choices, but Clark had an inkling she could do better with some of the dyes she works with in Lea Nienhaus’s Florida State University lab. She settled on rhodamine 610 because of its high solubility in water, and fed a solution of the dye compound to a white rose. This UV-illuminated photos shows the stunning results.
Submitted by Rachel Weiss Clark
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