chemistry

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History Illustration Science

Six Centuries, 700 Scientists, 300 Groundbreaking Milestones: A New Book Examines the Invaluable History of Science Illustrations

October 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Sagittal section of the body of a male; An Atlas of Topographical Anatomy: After Plane Sections of Frozen Bodies, Christian Wilhelm Braune, Philadelphia, 1877 © Courtesy US National Library of Medicine. All images courtesy Taschen

From medicine and biology to chemistry and astronomy, a massive new book published by Taschen chronicles the unparalleled contributions of illustrations to scientific study. Compiling more than 300 distinct charts, renderings, and graphs within its 436 pages, the volume opens with early developments like Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentrism, which positioned the sun at the center of the solar system. It then travels throughout the following six centuries, capturing everything from the use of anesthesia and zoological studies to current-day renderings of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. In addition to the illustrations themselves, the book also details how such visuals continue to impact both the theories and principles that are the foundation for scientific discovery and the general public’s conceptions of how the world works.

Science Illustration. A History of Visual Knowledge from the 15th Century to Today is available now from Taschen and Bookshop.

 

“A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2”, an ultra-high-resolution computer model gives scientists a look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe, Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA, 2014. Image © NASA

A slice of the lower part of the root of horseradish cut transversely, An Idea of a Phytological History Propounded, Nehemiah Grew, London, 1673 © ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Rar 6191

Spectra of the stars and nebulae, ‘Spectrum Analysis,’ Henry E. Roscoe, London, 1885. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Libraries, Washington, D.C.

Application of anesthesia, ‘Illustrations of Strange Diseases and Their Surgical Treatments,’ Hanaoka Seishū, 1805, illustrated by Tangetsu. Image courtesy US National Library of Medicine

Montgolfier balloon carrying the Marquis d’Arlandes and M. Pilatre de Rozier, Paris, 1783 © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Tissandier Collection

 

 

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Photography Science

Envisioning Chemistry: Stunning Footage of Chemical Reactions Filmed by Wenting Zhu

October 17, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Chemical reactions can be described with words, formulas, and observed with the naked eye, but in the capable hands of filmmaker and photographer Wenting Zhu they take on a near miraculous quality as part of this ongoing Beauty of Science series (previously). Zhu has just shared several new videos highlighting electrodeposition, precipitation, bubbles, metal displacement, and many others. You can see more on the Beauty of Science website.

 

 



Amazing Science

Crystal Birth: A Beautiful Timelapse of Metallic Crystals Forming in Chemical Solutions

November 11, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Italian chemistry student Emanuele Fornasier also has a knack for photography and spent the last few months documenting the formation of crystals. The result is Crystal Birth, a timelapse of some 18 examples of electrocrystallization, where an electric current is run through a chemical solution, causing metal deposits to form over a period of several hours or days. You can see more of his chemistry and timelapse work on his website.

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Science

Beautiful Chemistry: Amazing Chemical Reactions Filmed with a 4K UltraHD Camera

October 6, 2014

Christopher Jobson

Beautiful Chemistry is a new collaboration between Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China that seeks to make chemistry more accessible and interesting to the general public. Their first project was the creation of several short films that utilize a 4K UltraHD camera to capture a variety of striking chemical reactions without the usual clutter of test tubes, beakers or lab equipment. I definitely would have paid a bit more attention in chemistry class if we’d had the opportunity to watch some of these. Filmed and edited by Yan Liang.

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