DNA: Force Scale

The object of this image was to make a cover image that portrays tiny forces measurable via optical trap (atomic force microscopy). I worked with Tom Perkins who was doing research on the idea of using a double helix of DNA that acts as “spring” to measure the atomic forces. I imagined that best way to portray this scientific concept to a general audience was to design a compare and contrast metaphor to that of a traditional force spring scale that you would find in a physics class in a high school classroom.

I invited Jay Fittipaldi to work remotely with me on a few 3D components. He model the apple using Zbrush while I modeled and rendered everything else using Maya, Photoshop, and Illustrator. The team play with Jay helped me expand my experience with the Maya and Zbrush production pipeline.


Atomic Clocks Sync

I worked very closely with Jun Ye and Andrew Ludlow on this project. I really like working with Jun Ye because he lets me actually design a new perspective about how visually comprehend the subject. I stepped away from the more traditional design asethetics that you may see in Science magazine, and used colors and saturation levels to really make the illustration figure pretty distinctive. I wanted the image to be accessible to wide range of audiences such as the public to the international science communities. The image can be interpreted very technically with the details, but only when you really want to get into the details and break the image down to speceifics. Otherwise I still think the image is pretty clear with it over-all visual literacy that this how two very complex atomic clocks sync and relate to each other in Boulder.

This is illustration basically compares to two clocks (one at JILA and the other NIST) and how they relate to each. Essentially these two clocks are sync together or they are used to compare the times to help measure accuracy levels. The clocks are located in two different places in Boulder and they are connected to each via fiber optics cable that run underground. Basically this a compare n' contrast of two systems. Jun Ye wanted to use gears as metaphor for the system to describe the frequency comb spectrum. The arrangement and types of gears are actually very specific technically and in their arrangement in the figure. The JILA Research Highlight article explains this figure pretty well if you wanted more information