AMHERST, Mass., April 18 -- Images printed from micrographs -- photographs taken with optical, electron and atomic force microscopes -- have entered the realm of art, thanks to a new program at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst.
"Ventures in Science Using Art Laboratory" (VISUAL) is a series of artistic prints from images seen through sophisticated microscopes used at the university's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), part of the department of polymer science and engineering.
The effort is the brainchild of Linda Strzegowski, assistant to the center's director, Thomas P. Russell.
"In my position with MRSEC, I have had the opportunity to see beautiful images resulting from the research being done," said Strzegowski. In addition to the images' scientific value, she said, it was clear to her that they could also be appreciated as art.
Four images are now on display in the lecture room of the Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer Research on the UMass Amherst campus. The project team said they eventually plan to bring the images to art galleries.
Russell calls the effort "an excellent way to reach everyday people in explaining what scientists do, and why research efforts are important. This project enables us to convey scientific concepts to nonscientists in a meaningful way."
For more information, visit: www.polymer.org