On the surface of things: images of the extraordinary in science
A rare collaboration between artist and scientist, On the Surface of Things explores the hidden visual splendor of scientific phenomena, from cutting-edge nanotechnology to DNA sequencing. Photographer Felice Frankel, artist-in-residence at MIT, teamed up with George M. Whitesides, world-renowned Harvard University chemistry professor, to capture on film the chance explosions of beauty and color that occur when one surface meets another -- on both the micro- and macroscopic levels. How many electrons can dance on the head of a pin? What do DNA strands look like when chased by an electrical charge? Using innovative photographic technology, Frankel finds startling abstract beauty in the undulations of liquid crystal film, the gymnastics of plastic microstructures, the migratory trudge of bacteria, and other scientific wonders. Whitesides's accompanying text is lucid, engaging, and even poetic as he explains each photograph, describing why and how these phenomena occur. In the tradition of The Powers of Ten, On the Surface of Things will excite curious minds and intrigue anyone with an appreciation for photography or unique forms of natural beauty.
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