Diaper Rash Cream Makes White Light

Okay, I know that things like this are at least relatively major advancements in science and technology, but the principle of this really cracked me up after the first paragraph:

Duke University and United States Army scientists have found that a cheap and nontoxic sunburn and diaper rash preventative can be made to produce brilliant light best suited to the human eye.

Okay, back to maturity land – by heating zinc oxide with sulfur, Duke University and Army scientists have discovered that you can make very bright light.  It’s not only very bright, but it’s a light that is better suited for the human eye to perceive – everyone knows that “cheap white LED” color which is more like greywater-colored than white.  Putrid, maybe.  Scientists are looking to use the discovery to create more efficient, less battery-eating light sources.  Granted, the LED only sips battery juice as it is, but why not try to make everything even more efficient?  From the article:

“One of the objectives is to give soldiers efficient lighting that doesn’t run their batteries down,” Everitt said. “They need efficiency, brightness, longevity and ruggedness, and this helps with all of those things.”

Existing commercial LEDs are already rugged enough to be used in bumper-mounted brake lights, Everitt said.

“They are good enough for decoration and for use in traffic lights, but they don’t make good reading lights because they are not of a white color that our eyes use best,” Liu said. White LEDs on the market now are costly, short-lived and not truly white, the researchers added.

I want to try chunky peanut butter, redi-whip, gorgonzola cheese, and guacamole next to try to make brilliant white light.  Not all at the same time, of course.


Thanks, PhysOrg!