Looking down a microscope always reminds us how much we can’t see with the naked eye. The winners of the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge provide a tantalizing glimpse into the micro- and nanoscopic world.
This image of a thin slice of a mouse’s eye, above, was dyed so that different tissues show up as different colors. Muscles are pale yellow, for example, and the sclera is green.
No, this isn’t a cliff—it’s far too tiny. Each layer of titanium carbide—an exceptionally hard material used in energy storage devices, solar cells, and the like—in the stack pictured here is only 5 atoms thin.
80beats: Beauty Under the Microscope: The Winners of Nikon’s 2009 Small World Contest
DISCOVER: The Alluring and Alien Sights of a Bee in Ultra Close-Up (photos)
DISCOVER: Nature’s Great Piece of Art-Slash-Geometry Lesson: The Snowflake (photos)
DISCOVER: Astonishingly Tiny Handmade Sculptures (photos)
DISCOVER: Each Grain of Sand a Tiny Work of Art (photos)