Hydrogen orbital cookies

Craft & Design Science
Hydrogen orbital cookies

As hard as it may be to believe, I see a lot of nerdy stuff in this job. But I have to tell you, these atomic orbital cookies from Evil Mad Scientist Labs may take all-time top honors in that department. You’re looking at a chart of the orbital wave functions of a single hydrogen atom in 19 of its lowest-energy excitation states. They’re 2D projections, of course, of regions in space that chemists sometimes call “electron probability density clouds.” If you’re thinking of electrons as particles, you can think of the intensity of the color at one spot as reflecting the probability of finding an electron in that spot.

Here’s what the cookies look like before, above, and after baking, below.

And here’s the set of custom cookie-press dies (aka “spritz plates”) Windell and Lenore made up to extrude the dough into appropriate shapes.

[via CRAFT]


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan


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