Monday, October 20, 2008

Osmium is supposed as the densest of all metals on the periodic table. It is hard to make, and becomes brittle. This is because it is a volatile substance, or a substance that fluctuates often and becomes unstable. It is both manufactured as a biproduct of nickel and copper and found in natural sources. Regardless of where it is found, it must usually be seperated or extracted from other elements bound to it. Osmium is used for its strength and resistance to wear in the types of fountain pens, electrical contacts, and needles on a phonograph. But the oddities of Osmium go further still as Osmium is a strong oxidant, and it cross-links lipids reacting with unsaturated carbon carbon bonds, which can fix biological membranes in place in tissue samples while staining them. This is why Osmium contains a high density of electrons. This makes it a prime candidate for transmission electron microscopy studies of biological materials. TEM is the creation of images through the transmission of electrons through a specimen and interacting with it. This image is then magnified, focused and recieved on some sort of screen of film.   Osmium is a blue gray color.

Osmium is also used for any number of surgical implants and pacemakers for its resistance to wear. Since we trust it for so many life cradling jobs, Osmium seems to have found a very unique occupation in human history, mostly for strength and high content of electrons. It makes me curious to think how one substance can be responsible for all these applications but it makes sense that unique characteristics would be put to use in order to create a logical efficient system of thinking.

Jamie, here are my iterations I like. Still one more on the way after I get out of class.