Science is beautiful and fun: Microflower photos

In a recently published paper in Science magazine, scientists have described a simple  process for growing beautiful flower arrangements in micrometer scale. They have used a solution of barium chloride and sodium metasilicate in which a glass plate is placed. In this system, after few hours very complex micro-structure starts to grow in which two minerals barium carbonate and silicate are formed. The interaction between these two minerals effects pH of the solution and this change in pH has great role in the growth of micro-structures.  By manipulating different parameters like pH, temperature, CO2 in the air, different micro-structures can be produced. These strictures look very beautiful. Science is beautiful and fun to do and see. It requires great determination, curiosity, motivation, and hard work though. Below are some photographs of such microflowers produced by scientists from Harvard University.

All photos from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6134/832.full