Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Graceling

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by Kristin Cashore

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  • First Published:
    Oct 2008, 480 pages
    Sep 2009, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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Beyond the Book

Nanotechnology in medieval times

Though Graceling is certainly set in a magical history, the time period seems distinctly medieval, based on the descriptions of clothing, weapons, buildings, and the general atmosphere. A descriptive passage towards the end of Graceling made me wonder about the science and craft of stained-glass-making in medieval times. Wielding the magical powers of The World Wide Web, I was startled to find news of a recent study that suggests that medieval stained glass windows painted with real gold actually purify the air when sunlight shines through them.

Zhu Huai Yong, along with a group of researchers at Queensland University of Technology's School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, found that many church windows across Europe were decorated with paint containing gold nanoparticles (very basically: really tiny particles) of various sizes. A reaction caused by the activity of electrons in the particles energized by the sun ...

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