Antony Williams, who I had a great time with over coffee yesterday, alerted me to his blog post about a new chemical with some amazing properties – shining UV light onto the solution turns the liquid green instantaneously, and removal of the UV source results in instant change of color from green back to transparent.
Aaron Rowe and Kyle Finchsigmate also blogged about it.
You can see the chemical structure here:
See those two rings with nitrogens highlighted in blue? See the bond that connects those two rings? That bond is broken by UV light and immediately rebinds once the light is gone.
Think of the applications for this!
And here is a video so you can observe the color changes for yourself:
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