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On the artistic side, some pioneering work in this area was done by Paul Matisse, grandson of the famous French artist, Henri Matisse. In particular, Mr. Matisse developed what he called the "kalliroscope" in the 1960s.

Some of these are on display at various museums, including: Liberty Science Center (Jersey City, NJ), Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, PA), and Discovery Science Center (Santa Ana, CA).


On the scientific side, this optical phenomenon is called inorganic streaming birefringence.

Pioneering work was done in the 1980s by Prof. Merzkirch (emeritus, University of Essen, Germany). He developed his own flow visualization fluid for cardiovascular imaging.

Perhaps the earliest work in this area was done by James Clerk Maxwell (of the famed electromagnetic equations).

In the early 1960s some work was done at Caltech using various organic compounds. Although they and others obtained notable results, these materials tend to be unstable, toxic, and optically opaque.


The fluid I have developed is non-toxic and nearly transparent. Further, it is optically stable, chemically stable, and thermally stable (ie, it won't deteriorate due to exposure to light, heat, or air; it is compatible with many materials; and, it won't blow up, or catch fire). [entered '0707.28]

Kaleidoscopes and "motion lamps"

This might be thought of as a fusion of a "motion lamp" and a kaleidoscope. Many people have been continually fascinated by the soft-flowing, ever-changing, full rainbow of colors that this fluid spontaneously produces.

This seems to have an especial appeal to mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, physicists, and chemists. Regardless, you don't have to have a technical background to appreciate this nice, "magical," optical effect. [entered '0707.28]

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