Spon­sored Edi­to­rial

Guru Magazine - - Ask A Guru -

Do you re­mem­ber the T-shirts that could change colour? I never owned one, but tem­per­a­ture-sen­si­tive cloth­ing was all the rage in the early 1990s. Put one on, press your hand against it (or sim­ply hang it on the ra­di­a­tor) and watch the colour change! But it wasn’t long be­fore the nov­elty wore off – roughly around the time when ev­ery­one re­alised that their sweaty armpits sud­denly be­came very vis­i­ble...

I am still im­pressed by colour-chang­ing ma­te­ri­als, al­though I’ve al­ways been baf­fled by why they work. A great man to ask how they work would be Hen­drik Ball, owner of Grand Il­lu­sions. A TV pro­ducer by trade, he now runs an on­line shop sell­ing science cu­riosi­ties and has an in­fec­tious pas­sion for us­ing science to amuse and en­thral. Hen­drik also cu­rates a ‘toy mu­seum’ (“We don’t do dolls!”) that boasts a vast col­lec­tion of over 20,000 un­usual play­things. You can see many of th­ese in ac­tion on Hen­drik’s YouTube chan­nel (which has an in­cred­i­ble 40,000 sub­scribers and over 10 mil­lion views).

Grand Il­lu­sions is de­light­fully quirky and ec­cen­tric, and cer­tainly not just for kids. Which brings me back to those chameleon-es­que T-shirts. I’ve done my home­work and dis­cov­ered that colour­chang­ing ma­te­ri­als work thanks to some pretty crazy chem­istry: the molecules of ‘thermo chromic’ sub­stances change their shape and ar­range­ment at about 27°C. And I was de­lighted to dis­cover Grand Il­lu­sions have some colour-chang­ing of­fer­ings – which are far trendier than a T-Shirt. For the Guru reader who likes some­thing just a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, Grand Il­lu­sions is well worth check­ing out.

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