Gods in blue robes

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Gods in blue robesKuzma Andrianovich put a sheet of paper on the table, tilted the flask, and transparent drops rolled down the sheet, like scattered beads. I looked at the sticker. Neatly derived: H2O. Water! Ordinary water, like mercury, covered the leaf with balls.

This is how the "miracles of chemistry" began, which I witnessed in the laboratory of organosilicon compounds of the Institute of Organoelement Compounds of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Outwardly, everything is routine here. At laboratory tables, people in blue coats drain some liquids, dissolve, dilute, acidify or alkalize. They measure by fractions of a millimeter, count by tenths of a second, and heat by fractions of a degree. And they are looking for something new all the time. Sometimes they find it. Exactly sometimes: after all, even the great Einstein complained that good ideas are born very rarely ...

Having created a theory that explains the structure of everything that is on Earth, chemists, as it were, recreated the Universe anew. But today people in blue coats dare to do more. They create a new Universe of substances that do not exist in nature.

For example, nature does not know materials, whose molecular backbone would be inherent in a stone, and whose “clothes” would be built from organic molecules. This is almost as absurd for the world of natural substances as it is for us. Apple treeon which steel apples would grow.

However, for the "second universe" of chemists, such substances are no longer new. The path to their creation was cleared twenty-five years ago by the work of the Soviet scientist, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences Kuzma Andrianovich Andrianov. Silicones are their name. They combine the strength and toughness of minerals with the flexibility of the best plastics. Without silicones - these organosilicon compounds - many machines would not function reliably today.

So, quite recently, new powerful electric locomotives "Sh-60" moved on the rails. One of those who issued a visa for the new car was L. M. Volkova, a researcher at the laboratory of organosilicon compounds. She managed to create a "stone-organic" polymer, on the basis of which a varnish was obtained to insulate the engine of a new electric locomotive. It is so heat resistant that thanks to it, it was possible to raise the operating temperature from 145-150 degrees to 200-220 degrees. And the higher the engine operating temperature, the greater its efficiency. We can say: there would be no new substance - there would not be a wonderful electric locomotive.

Gods in blue robesAnyone who has had to work in the North knows that machines can endure frosts worse than people. At low temperatures, steel crumbles, and car tires become brittle like glass. Only silicon-organic rubbers and in such conditions feel like a fish in water. They do not lose their flexibility, they are ready to serve people in any weather.

Silicones can be not only solid but also liquid. Do you remember how our acquaintance with Kuzma Andrianovich began? He showed a paper over which water scattered in glass balls. It was covered with a layer of organosilicon liquid, which formed the thinnest non-wettable film on the surface. On such paper, water does not leave any traces of dampness. In the truest sense of the word, you can say about her: "Like water off a duck's back."

Our clothes can be made absolutely waterproof. What about the walls of buildings? After all, moisture is the main scourge of brick and concrete. Getting into the pores of the material and freezing in them, it gradually wears away the stone, like a worm on wood. Organosilicon fluids are the most effective means of fighting this "pest" of our homes.

Or such an example. Who doesn't know how difficult it is to start a car in winter? Already at 20 degrees of frost, this is almost impossible. Drivers have to fill the radiator with hot water, make a fire under the engine.Why? The lubricant in the car at low temperatures thickens strongly and, as it were, sticks together the parts. Already at 40 degrees, most oils obtained from oil freeze. Silicone fluid grease behaves differently. With decreasing temperature, their viscosity changes little.

... People in blue coats are leisurely doing their job. They not only learn the laws of nature, but in small glass test tubes improve the nature of things, create their own, second universe.

Gavrilova N.V.

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