Geeky Math Equation Creates Beautiful 3-D World
They call it the Mandelbulb. The 3-D renderings were generated by applying an iterative algorithm to a sphere. The same calculation is applied over and over to the sphere’s points in three dimensions. In spirit, that’s similar to how the original 2-D Mandelbrot set generates its infinite and self-repeating complexity.
New Theory: A “Hit and Run” Accident Created Our Moon
How did Earth get its own Moon? For decades, the most popular origin story has been the “Big Splat” theory, which says an object the size of Mars impacted the Earthmore than three billion years ago, flinging material into space which became the Moon.
Albert Einstein Statue Gets Yarn-Bombed by Olek
Molecular biology professor and artist David Goodsell has no trouble finding art in the human body. His hand-drawn watercolor illustrations explode with color while offering his visual interpretation of bacteria, viruses, and human cells. *Click images to see caption.
New World Transparent Specimens by Iori Tomita
“Tomita first removes the scales and skin of fish that have been preserved in formaldehyde. Next he soaks the creatures in a stain that dyes the cartilage blue. Tomita uses a digestive enzyme called trypsin, along with a host of other chemicals, to break down the proteins and muscles, halting the process just at the moment they become transparent but before they lose their form. The bones are then stained with red dye, and the brilliant beast is preserved in a jar of glycerin.”
Refractions by Maianer
Liquid Sculptures by Maianer
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Crystals
1 It’s all about the rhythm: Crystals are repeating, three-dimensional arrangements of atoms, ions, or molecules.
2 Almost any solid material can crystallize—even DNA. Chemists from New York University, Purdue University, and the Argonne National Laboratory recently created DNA crystals large enough to see with the naked eye. The work could have applications in nanoelectronics and drug development.
3 One thing that is not a crystal: leaded “crystal” glass, like the vases that so many newlyweds dread. (Glass consists of atoms or molecules all in a jumble, not in the well-patterned order that defines a crystal.)
4 The oldest known pieces of our planet’s surface are 4.4-billion-year-old zircon crystals from the Jack Hills of western Australia.
5 The center of the earth was once thought to be a single, 1,500-mile-wide iron crystal. Seismic studies now show that the inner core is not a single solid but perhaps an aggregate of smaller crystals.
6 Tiny silicate crystals, which need high temperatures to form, have been found inside icy comets from the solar system’s distant, chilly edges. Powerful flares from the sun may have provided the necessary heat.
7 In Chihuahua, Mexico, a limestone cavern 1,000 feet below the surface contains the largest crystals in the world: glittering gypsum formations up to 6 feet in diameter and 36 feet long, weighing as much as 55 tons.
8 You may be sitting in a gypsum cave right now: It is a primary component of drywall.
9 Are the streets of New York paved with gold? No, but the bedrock schist beneath them is studded with opal, beryl, chrysoberyl, garnet, and three kinds of tourmaline.
10 In 1885 a garnet weighing nearly 10 pounds was discovered beneath 35th Street near Broadway, close to today’s Macy’s store. According to urban lore, it was unearthed either during subway construction or by a laborer digging a sewer.
11 Cheaper by the pound: The so-called Subway Garnet was sold within a day, reportedly for $100—just $2,300 in today’s dollars.
12 The unit of measure for gemstones had humble beginnings. “Carat” comes from the Greek keration, or “carob bean,” which was used as a standard for weighing small quantities. It is equivalent to 200 milligrams, or about 0.007 ounce.
13 When Richard Burton bought Elizabeth Taylor the heart-shaped Taj-Mahal diamond, he is said to have bragged, “It has so many carats, it’s almost a turnip.”
14 A “fancy intense pink” diamond recently set a world record when it was purchased at auction for $46 million by a London jeweler.
15 The Cullinan diamond is the largest known gem diamond—or, actually, was. It weighed 3,106 carats, or nearly a pound and a half, when it was discovered in South Africa in 1905, but it has since been cut into more than 100 stones.
17 For the rest of us, there is crystallized sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt. We are literally awash in it: If the water were evaporated from the world’s oceans, we’d be left with 4.5 million cubic miles of salt, equivalent to a cube measuring 165 miles on each side.
18 Another crystal for commoners: sugar. Each American eats an average of more than 130 pounds of it per year.
19 As if sugar’s ties to obesity and tooth decay weren’t enough, new research out of Imperial College London suggests that it contributes to high blood pressure, too.
20 Snow is near-pure crystallized water, but when it collects on the ground it acts as a reservoir for atmospheric pollutants such as mercury and soot. So you probably shouldn’t eat the white snow either.
Refractions of Earth by Maianer
Star tails by Lincoln Harrison
Complexity Graphics by Tatiana Plakhova
Where Science, Art and Photography Intersect
Photography by Caleb Charland