A roughly 1,600-year-old Roman chalice on exhibit at the British Museum may hold the secret to a new sensitivity technology that could aid in the detection of biological dangers.
The “Lycurgus Cup” is another name for this glass chalice. The name derives from the picture inlaid on the chalice, which depicts King Lycurgus of Thrace.
When this cup is lighted from different angles, a phenomenon happens that leaves all researchers baffled. When illuminated from the front, it seems green, similar to jade, but when illuminated from the back, it turns an extremely intense red.
Despite the fact that the Lycurgus Cup was discovered in 1950, the riddle of its color change was not explained until the 1990s, 40 years later. When British scientists thoroughly examined this remarkable relic, they discovered that the Romans were the forefathers of nanotechnology.
They apparently loaded the glass with incredibly fine silver and gold particles with diameters of 50 nanometers. The combination of these two valuable metals shows that individuals who accomplished this were well-informed. This nanotechnological artifact functions in an unusual manner.
When lighted, the electrons in the metal begin to vibrate in different ways, causing the glass to change color based on the viewer’s position. Other research has discovered that the chalice’s hue changes based on the substances it comes into touch with.
And this implies that this chalice could have had this “miraculous” usage, notifying the person who used it of a poisoning attempt or even if he had particular health concerns.
The University of Illinois has long been interested in the use of nanotechnology to diagnose disease. And the Lycurgus Cup is an artifact that has been well researched.