Science, art collide in amazing psychedelic photos

For “Iridient No. 01, 2012,” Fabian Oefner captured a floating soap bubble at the moment it burst, and surface tension was broken. (Click to enlarge.)

(Credit: Fabian Oefner)

Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner is determined to link the worlds of art and science.

“If you look at science,science is a very rational approach, whereas art on the other hand is usually an emotional approach to its surroundings,” he said during a TED talk earlier this year that just went online. “What I’m trying to do is bring those two images into one so that my images speak to the viewer’s heart but also to the viewer’s brain.”

Oefner left the TED audience mesmerized with images and videos of his three latest projects.

First, he explained how he made sound waves visible. After placing a thin piece of tin foil over an ordinary speaker, he poured tiny crystals onto the foil. Playing sound through the speaker caused the crystals to jump, but that happens faster than the blink of an eye. He recorded the experiment with a camera that shoots 3,000 frames per second.

In the next project, he used psychedelic colors to explain magnetism. He poured feral liquid — a dark, oily liquid that contains tiny shards of metal — onto a magnet. Fer… [Read more]

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