Mesmerizing Time-Lapse of a Chemical Reaction Rippling Through a Petri Dish

The intersection of art and science can be a beautiful place, a point that’s made very clear by the online video project Envisioning Chemistry. In their latest creation, you can watch a chemical reaction ripple through a petri dish, a beautiful example of an “oscillation reaction.”

Envisioning Chemistry is a collaboration between the Beauty of Science and the Chinese Chemical Society that seeks to “reveal the beauty of chemistry through special techniques such as macro and micro photography, high-speed photography, time-lapse photography, and infrared thermal imaging.” We’ve featured their videos in the past–including time-lapses, macro, and slow-motion work–but there’s something especially hypnotic about their latest release.

What you’re looking at is a time-lapse of a Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, which is a classic example of a “nonlinear chemical oscillator.” The reaction–which doesn’t actually move too much slower than this in real life–shows non-equilibrium thermodynamics in action, which is really interesting for scientists… and just plain “pretty” for the rest of us:

To see more from Envisioning Chemistry, check out some of their previous features here on PetaPixel, or visit they’re newly redesigned website. And if you want to take it beyond Chemistry, you can see even more videos on the Beauty of Science website.