Technology

A Visual Tour of the World of Science

An upcoming museum exhibit shows Technicolor microexplosions, water lilies as delicate as breast tissue, and more.

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Photo Credits: Viktor Sykora

Beauty isn't rocket science--but sometimes it is nanophysics. Scientists and photographers used tools ranging from traditional cameras to X-rays to million-dollar microscopes to create the art in "Images From Science 2," on view at the Rochester Institute of Technology beginning October 11. The exhibition follows a four-year international tour by its predecessor, "Images From Science."

Delicate hooks on the agrimony seed in this photomicrograph snare the fur of passing animals (or your socks) to move to greener pastures.

Photo Credits: Harald Kleine

Shock waves from two tiny explosions interact in this 1-microsecond Schlieren photograph, which color-codes air densities.

Photo Credits: Jim Wehtje

It took low-energy X-rays and 70 separate mammography films to image this water lily with petals as delicate as breast tissue.

Photo Credits: Kenneth Libbrecht, California Institute of Technology

What does snow look like in its natural state? Snow crystals can grow into a wide variety of shapes, ranging from thin, plate-like flakes to slender hexagonal columns, and what shape they take depends on the temperature in which they grow. This flake, which fell in Burlington, Vermont, measures just over an eighth of an inch from tip to tip.

Photo Credits: Seth Ruffins, California Institute of Technology

These two MRI images show details of an adult mouse brain, including the optic nerves, the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. Because MRIs are non-optical--the image is derived from contrasting the protons in water--the entire volume of the brain can be captured in one image.

Photo Credits: David Paul

Biologists photographed this thumbnail-size, eight-armed youngster while identifying larval octopi on the surface of the Coral Sea in Australia.

Photo Credits: Hans U. Danzebrink

Photonic crystals could one day direct light through super-miniaturized optical computer chips. This atomic force micrograph reveals gaps between the plastic nanospheres of one crystal.

Photo Credits: Gregory Cooksey

Neuroscientists can test odor-sensing neurons' responses to chemical "smells" by exposing them to scent molecules in liquid gradients, which overlap like the blurry rainbow of food coloring shown here.

Photo Credits: Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch, Animal Affairs Photography, Freiburg, Germany

Like Pavlov's dogs, this honeybee has been trained to extend its tongue for food whenever it is stimulated with a certain scent. The bee was fixed in a tiny harness with tape and then stimulated with an odor. Given its superb sense of smell, the bee quickly learned to associate the smell with food.

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