This Spring, the Princeton University community was asked to submit images for an art exhibition. The only rule was that the images must either have been produced in the course of research or using tools and concepts from science. The organizers of the first annual Art of Science Competition received over 200 works in 15 days. 55 were selected to appear in the exhibit, which is now online.
The images represent a staggering range of scales, and a diverse array of fields and approaches. A dust particle a few micrometers across rests on a silicon wafer; two galaxies collide, some 30 million light years from Earth; individual ants are given discrete paint patterns for behavioral studies; the design of a cantilever beam "evolves" in simulation; a model of freight transportation maps the flow of goods; discarded circuit boards are assembled into a work which provokes contemplation of sustainability.
The first prize image is Plasma Table, shown here, by Elle Starkman and Andrew Post-Zwicker. In it, a cloud of silicon microspheres are illuminated by laser as they float in a plasma suspension above an electrode.