The Art of Science: A Peek at Particle Physics

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Photo by Joseph Boccio

Ten of the world’s leading particle physics facilities invited hundreds of photographers, amateur and professional, for a behind-the-scenes look in September 2012.  The InterActions Physics Photowalk, an annual event, allowed photographers to visit top labs, including Brookhaven National Lab in New York, Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, Chilbolton Observatory in the U.K., and TRIUMF in Canada.  An international panel selected this shot by Joseph Paul Boccio of the KLOE detector at Italy’s Frascati National Laboratory as the top prizewinner. Continue reading “The Art of Science: A Peek at Particle Physics”

The Art of Science – Particle Accelerator Art

Aten by Todd Johnson

There’s more to do with a particle accelerator than find the Higgs Boson. Artist Todd Johnson uses electron beams to create amazing fractal artworks on acrylic slabs . He calls them “shockfossils”.   Johnson described the process briefly on DeviantArt:

“These pieces are created with the help of a particle accelerator. This machine produces up to five million volts and is used to accelerate a beam of electrons. The electrons are fired at pieces of acrylic plastic and penetrate deep within the slabs, resulting in a pool of electrons trapped under tremendous electrical potential within each piece.

The trapped charge is then carefully released by applying mechanical shock with a sharp insulated tool, and the electrons escape with a bright flash and loud pop. As the charges leave the plastic, they gather into channels following fractal branching rules just like river deltas, plants, and capillaries.

Controlling the energy and placement of the electron beam determines the final shape and character of the resulting figure.”

More information on the process and lots more art here.  It’s worth looking at the larger images for the amazing detail. (H/T to Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing)