Wikipedia:Picture of the day/May 2019

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A monthly archive of Wikipedia's pictures of the day

These featured pictures have previously appeared (or will appear) as picture of the day (POTD) on the Main Page, as scheduled below. You can add the automatically updating picture of the day to your userpage or talk page using {{Pic of the day}} (version with blurb) or {{POTD}} (version without blurb). For instructions on how to make custom POTD layouts, see Wikipedia:Picture of the day.

May 1 – Wed

Thorium dioxide
When added to glass, thorium dioxide helps increase its refractive index and decrease its dispersion. Such glass finds applications in high-quality lenses for cameras and scientific instruments. The radiation from these lenses can darken them and turn them yellow over a period of years and degrade film, but the health risks are minimal. Yellowed lenses may be restored to their original colourless state by lengthy exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation. Thorium dioxide has since been replaced by rare-earth oxides such as lanthanum oxide in almost all modern high-index glasses, as they provide similar effects and are not radioactive.

This picture shows a yellowed thorium dioxide lens (left), a similar lens partially de-yellowed with ultraviolet radiation (centre) and a lens without yellowing (right).Photograph credit: El Grafo

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