Copper Experiments

Composite Paintings Copper Experiments

Electronic materials fascinate me for a myriad of reasons. The behavior of electrons commands endless fascination and study. As we grow to a better understanding of their behavior technology advances and devices can be made smaller and more powerful.

When I started recording my painting observations in an engineering notebook, I felt compelled to pursue a study of materials using the scientific method. Materials Science includes the study of metals. In this series I combined my love of texture and composites with my fascination for electronic materials, specifically copper.

The shapes of the fabric and foils represent different concepts related to the behavior of electrons while the entire series was an experiment for me in controlling the fabric and using different chemicals to change the copper. 

Copper has such unique electrical properties that it plays a huge role in enabling new technologies.

Copper (oxidized), Melissa Muehleisen 2018, 8"x10" mixed media on canvas

In metals, electrons are not so loyal to their home atom. The electrons live in what we call a “sea of electrons.”

Sea of Electrons, Melissa Muehleisen, 2018, 8"x10"

Electrons are happiest in pairs, spin up and spin down.

Spin up, Spin down. Melissa Muehleisen, 2018, 8"x10"

Electrons have a dual nature in that they behave as both particle and wave.

Wave and Particle. Melissa Muehleisen, 2018, 8"x10"

There is a force field created in the surrounding area when the current flows.

Field Effects. Melissa Muehleisen, 2018, 8"x10"

Sometimes an electron finds a path outside of the intended boundary. The electron escapes and finds a new place to hang out and cause problems, this is called tunneling. 

Tunneling. Melissa Muehleisen, 2018, 8"x10"


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