2019 AMI Online Salon

Using Light to Probe the Microscopic

Project Details

  • Entrant Name: Shirley Long 

  • Membership Type: Student Submission

  • Other Contributors:                         

  • Address: Mississauga, Canada

  • Client: Faculty Advisor: Marc Dryer

  • Medium/software used: Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator.

  • Final presentation format: Print, magazine cover.

  • Primary Audience: Researchers and scientifically literate audience.

Project Description

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists that created special tools made of light. Ashkin’s work on optical tweezers and Mourou and Strickland’s development of intense laser pulses have revolutionized the way scientists interact with the microscopic world; their tools allow researchers to manipulate infinitesimally small objects with precision like never before. This editorial journal cover illustration celebrates their pioneering work, and serves to entice audiences to read the feature article discussing their research. Infinitesimally small objects emerge from a murky background where they leap into sharp focus within the foreground light—this clarity serves to draw the viewer’s eye, and analogizes how the winners’ tools allow us to peer into the molecular world. The blueprints and light-beam splitting into a rainbow are subtle nods to their research, while the floating “hero characters” represent a variety of areas where these tools have had significance.