A 1,600-year-old Roman chalice on display at the British Museum might contain the key to a new sensitive technology that could help identify biological threats.
This glass chalice is also known as the “Lycurgus Cup.” The name comes from the figure of King Lycurgus of Thrace etched on the chalice.
When this cup is illuminated from various angles, a phenomenon occurs that perplexes all researchers. It seems green, similar to jade when viewed from the front, but when illuminated from the rear, it becomes an incredibly vivid red.
Despite the fact that the Lycurgus Cup was found in 1950, it was not until the 1990s that the mystery of its color shift was solved. The Romans were the progenitors of nanotechnology, according to British experts who investigated this amazing artifact.
The glass was supposedly filled with very thin silver and gold particles with sizes of 50 nanometers. The use of these two expensive metals together demonstrates that the people who did it were well-informed. This nanotechnological device works in an unexpected way.
When the metal is lit, the electrons begin to vibrate in various ways, causing the color of the glass to vary depending on the viewer’s location. According to further study, the chalice’s color changes depending on the things it comes into contact with.
And this suggests that this chalice may have had a “miracle” function, alerting the person who used it of a poisoning attempt or even if he had a health problem.
The potential of nanotechnology to detect illness has long piqued the curiosity of the University of Illinois. The Lycurgus Cup, on the other hand, is a well-studied item.