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Six Images of Nano-scale Worlds

Artist Michael Oliveri captures the tiniest products of materials science



Michael Oliveri

Most artists use a paintbrush or a camera, but Michael Oliveri sometimes prefers a scanning electron microscope.

The University of Georgia digital media professor finds inspiration in science, from organic chemistry to space exploration. In his recent project "Innerspace," he explores the landscapes of nano-scale worlds where objects are up to 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The samples Oliveri captures come from University of Georgia materials scientist Zhengwei Pan, who creates nanowires and other puny structures that may one day lead to miniscule electronics. Pan heats metals up to temps so hellish that they turn into vapor. Then the metals settle down to form rods, spheres and other shapes.

Oliveri combines up to 40 smaller images to create his panoramas, which resemble familiar cornfields and underwater vistas.

View Nano-Worlds Slide Show

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