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Multimedia Zoom Into a Nasturtium Leaf

In this interactive piece, visitors can zoom into the structures on the surface of a nasturtium leaf. Electron micrographs reveal the nanoscale structures that make water bead on the surface of the leaf. Zoom Into a Nasturtium Leaf can be used alone, or to accompany an exhibit or demonstration of the lotus effect, in which water beads and rolls off highly water-repellent leaves. You must follow the instructions included with the files to install the Adobe Air application! Please "Download All Files" in the zip file and read the instructions first. The resource tab links...

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Multimedia Zoom Into a Human Hand

This interactive zoom, inspired by Eames "Powers of Ten," allows visitors to travel from the familiar scale of their hand down to DNA deep within a cell. This zoom is designed as a stand-alone visitor experience, or to be used as part of a presentation to orient visitors to the size of the nanoscale. You must follow the instructions included with the files to install the Adobe Air application! Please "Download All Files (zip)" and read the instructions first. The resource tab links are also a necessary part of the process in order to run the application directly on your...

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Zoom Into a Computer Chip poster

This poster features an illustration of a computer chip across ten orders of magnitude, from the computer chip to the atoms of which it is made. Using the conventions of visual perspective the image travels in one continuous “landscape” from the human scale at the top to the atomic scale in the foreground. The illustration is also available without annotation as an image, banner, or poster, and also appears on the "Everything is Made of Atoms" Poster with other parallel zooms into the human bloodstream and butterfly wing.

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Zoom Into a Butterfly Wing poster

This illustration shows a butterfly's wing across ten orders of magnitude, from the butterfly to the atoms of which it is made. Using the conventions of visual perspective the image travels in one continuous “landscape” from the human scale at the top to the atomic scale in the foreground. Placing objects from the butterfly's wing in one frame clarifies connections between components, highlighting the system’s reliance on structures at very different scales. This version of the image is a poster with annotated text explaining the different objects in the image, but it is also available as...

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Zoom Into the Human Bloodstream poster

This illustration shows the circulatory system across 10 orders of magnitude. Using the conventions of visual perspective the image travels in one continuous “landscape” from the human scale at the top to the atomic scale in the foreground. Placing objects from the circulatory system in one frame clarifies the connections between components, highlighting the system’s reliance on structures at very different scales. This illustration won the 2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge from NSF and Science magazine! This illustration is available as a poster with...

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Scale Ladder

Scale ladders are diagrams that can quickly convey the size of the nanoscale by showing how objects are related by size. Using existing research on understanding size and scale, the Visualization Laboratory carried out a series of experiments to develop effective scale ladders as well as guidelines for their design and use. This diagram can be dropped as is into an exhibition graphic or used as a template and adapted for different content or graphical contexts. To inform designers wishing to build a different scale ladder, guidelines gleaned from the research are also made available...

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Guidelines for the Design and Use of Scale Ladders

To understand why the nanoscale is different, we need to appreciate just how small it is. One common way to represent the nanoscale visually relies on scale ladders, diagrams that show how objects are related by size. Using existing research on understanding size and scale, the Visualization Laboratory carried out a series of experiments to develop a scale ladder and guidelines for their design and use. These guidelines are based on several rounds of formative evaluation, and provide insight into what aspects of a scale ladder are most critical in communicating with visitors, and how they...

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Sizing Things Down card game

This is a card game which can be played with museum visitors. Visitors will learn the relative sizes of various objects. They compete against each other (or you) to organize their hand of cards into lists of objects from largest to smallest.

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Exploring Size - Scented Solutions

"Exploring Size - Scented Solutions" is a hands on activity illustrating how small nano is. By sniffing a series of diluted scent solutions, visitors discover that nano-sized particles may be too small to see, but they're not too small to smell!

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At the Nanoscale

At the Nanoscale is a static component that aims to show just how super small one billionth of a meter, or one nanometer, really is. A Billion Beads is an activity where visitors inspect tubes that hold quantities of one thousand tiny beads, one million beads, and one billion beads. To the naked eye, the tube containing one thousand beads appears nearly empty. Visitors see that the next tube, partially filled, contains one million beads. Finally, to compare, a four-foot tall container nearly full contains approximately one billion beads. This component is mounted to the backside of the...

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