Water Light Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau
Fabian Oefner is a Swiss photographer and artist, who combines art and science. He emphasizes ordinary elements of the natural world, by injecting, in this case literally, colors and textures. In his project Millefiori, Oefner combines ferrofluid, a magnetic material, and watercolors. He explains: The shapes, you see in these image are only about the size of a thumbnail. They are created with the aid of a very peculiar material: ferrofluid. This liquid has a very unique property. It is magnetic, caused by the millions nano iron particles in it. When put under a magnetic field, the particles in the solution start to rearrange due to the attraction and repulsion of iron. If now water colors are added to the ferrofluid, the pop-art looking structures start to appear, forming into black channels and tiny ponds filled with rainbow colored surfaces. The reason why the black ferrofluid and the water colors don’t mix is that ferrofluid is, just like oil, hydrophobic. It therefore doesn’t mix with the water colors. At the same time it is held in position by the magnet underneath it. So it tries to find a way around the water colors and therefore forms these black channels.
Tilings create an interesting mathematical problem. It is easy to tile a large floor with squares, equilateral triangles, or regular hexagons. But no matter how hard you try, you cannot tile a large floor with pentagons—unfilled gaps always remain. Intrigued by this problem, mathematical physicist Roger Penrose discovered in 1976 two shapes of tiles that could be used to fill the entire plane, and yet exhibit the five-fold symmetry characteristic of the pentagon. This art-inspired tiling exercise might have remained in the relative obscurity of recreational mathematics were it not for a dramatic discovery in 1982. Materials engineer Dan Schectman discovered that the crystals of some aluminum-manganese alloys exhibit precisely the same regularity as Penrose’s tiles, even though such structures were previously predicted to not exist in nature. In spite of the initial skeptical reaction by many chemists and physicists, Schectman went on to win the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering “a new principle for packing atoms and molecules.” The fascinating materials he unearthed are now known as quasicrystals.
Nike Art + Science of Feeling: Josh Rubin’s brainwaves as art
Scientific reactions and effects often create amazing visual art — you just have to be lucky enough to capture it on time! Taiwanese photographer Will Ho was vacationing on the Maldives Islands when he was just so lucky.
These stunning photographs, taken by Ho, feature bioluminescent phytoplankton — or light-emitting microorganisms — found in the ocean. These microorganisms glow and can be seen when they are under stress, as seen here when the water hits the shore, or if they are stepped on or agitated.