In 2009, an Oregon State University chemist by the name of Mas Subramanian and his team discovered a brand new color. And they’ve called it “YInMn,” a name derived from Yttrium, Indium and Manganese, all elements found on the periodic table. YInMn is a brand new blue. It’s beautiful, bright and incredibly saturated.
The discovery of a new color sounds crazy, but maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.
There’s infinite different colors—and variations of color—that the human eye has never seen. Our eyes are only equipped to see the visible portion of the light spectrum. Hence, the name. With our naked eyes we can only see good ol’ “Roy G. Biv” (or red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet). But there’s lots more colors out there. YInMn is just one of the newbies.
And it was discovered by complete accident.
The scientists were mixing different materials and heating them up in an effort to create an entirely new material for use in electronics. Instead of creating what they set out to initially do, they discovered a brand new color that absorbs wavelengths of light in a different way. The result? A brand new variation of blue that we see differently.
Science and faith are a lot alike. They both require humility, an acceptance that there’s more out there to know than what’s currently understood. They both are in pursuit of truth. And they both require an openness to making discoveries that may fly in the face of what seems to be the “norm” or what is currently comfortable. In fact, both faith and science can push you out of your comfort zone FAST—and that can be a very good thing, even if (more than a little) unsettling.
But when things—discoveries—like this hit the news, it also strengthens my faith. It’s proof positive once again that there is more out there than what we currently know or can fully understand. Sure, we can depend upon our physical senses to help us define what is true, what is exists, what is real. But to say that that is all there is—only what we can interact with and interpret via our limited physical bodies—would be to cut us off from the fullness of truth far too prematurely.
Whether you’re a theist, an atheist or an agnostic, I implore you not to cut yourself off to new discoveries.
Strive to remain open.
Be available and receptive to how truth may show itself to you personally.
Just as those scientists at Oregon State University discovered, a new encounter with truth may pop up in ways and at times you least expect it.
(To see exactly what YInMn blue looks like and read more about it click here.)