MLR writes: “The Tree of Life—carbon, glucose, light, DNA, and the golden rectangle. A tattoo by Kevin Riley. On the chest of a PhD student in molecular biology.”
“After much consideration, I decided to get an atom tattoo. But what atom? Given that I’m an graduate student in organic chemistry at the University of Michigan, carbon seemed like the obvious choice. It also has the advantage of being small enough not to look too crowded. I went for a retro 50’s Jetsons sort of look. Believe it or not, the general shape (though not the coloring) is based on a piece of Microsoft Office clip-art.”
“Someday i hope to be a wacky, flannel-sportin’ physicist. my tattoo is schroedinger’s equation for the wave function of a particle. i chose this equation because its elegance & symmetry reflect that of our multiverse, & also because it describes the fundamental source of “quantum weirdness.” time travel, quantum computers…no matter what happens in my life, there is an infinitely Glorious Plan swirling all about us….I would be honored to be included among the ranks of badass scientists all over the world. oh, & if you have any pull with any preeminent physicists, tell brian greene to return my fan mail! :]”
“It is a half sleeve up my upper right arm based around an image taken by one of the CERN bubble chambers. It is based on this image. I first saw that image my freshman year of college. It had the sublime, simple beauty that only something made of math and science can have. It stuck with me for 8 more years before I actually decided to get it etched into me. Oddly enough, on Valentine’s Day. I guess it was my Valentine’s to physics and science. Oh, and when people ask who drew it, I always respond ‘God.'”
Drew, an oceanography graduate student, writes:
“This, on my leg, is the incompressible form of the conservation of mass equation in a fluid, also known as the continuity equation. When people ask what it means, I say it defines flow. Sometimes I say it means you should have studied more physics, but that is only when I am feeling like being funny. What it means in more detail is that, for an incompressible fluid, the partial derivative of the velocity of the fluid in the three spatial dimensions must sum to zero. It therefore concisely states the fundamental nature of a fluid.”My advisor took this picture, and I swear he is obsessed (in a good way) with this tattoo. He is giving a talk at Woods Hole next week as he is the recipient of an award, and he is planning to show off ‘how quantitative scripps students are’ which i think is hilarious and only slightly mortifying. Speaking of mortifying, it is slightly mortifying to be sending this email at all–I have to admit I am a little embarrassed. It is definitely the most vain thing i have done today. I do have an ulterior motive which I have no problem admitting: I want to stake a claim on this particular piece. I guess it might be a little lame to want to claim ownership over something so silly but there it is and I guess at least I can admit it.”
“I have a degree in Computer Science, and I work with RFID (or at least I did till recently).” On his Livejournal blog, he adds, “For the curious, this is an Alien Technology’s European model Gen 1 Squiggle RFID tag. It’s actually copper in color and about six centimetres long. I scanned it and blew it up to a bit over twice it’s original size, and changed its color to black.”
Carl: RFID stands for radio frequency identification. RFID tags, which are embedded in many of the products sold today in stores, are programmed to store information about them. To get the information, you point an RFID reader at the tag and release a burst of radio waves. The energy from the waves powers up the tag, which then sends back a signal of its own. Paul’s RFID tattoo says a lot about him now, but, if he wanted, it could say a lot more. Maybe too much.
Abraham writes: “My fascination with Tesla started in elementary school, when my science teacher compared Tesla and Edison. I decided to pay my tribute to the wizard with a patent drawing on an electric magnetic motor, submitted by Tesla in the late 1800’s.”
“As a student of electrical and mechanical engineering I kept running into sine waves and the unit circle, and came to realize how important it is. After about a year of digging and trying to find the right artist and the right technical drawings to illustrate this concept, I settled on two images which at one time or another were featured in scientific american magazine. The inner arm is a sine wave as it relates to the unit circle, and I continued the wave theme on the whole arm piece with the outer image which is the superposition of two waves. In the background is kind of a broken-out grid that wraps around my arm and onto my shoulder and has other solid and dotted lines in it.”
Skip Arey writes, “I am very devoted to the radio art and decided to show my devotion by way of Body Art. The tattoo is a copy of a schematic diagram of a basic Crystal Radio taken from page 132 of Practical Wireless Telegraphy by Elmer Bucher published in 1921.”
“I was hoping you could put this tattoo up as your flicker page is missing any tattoo’s of electrical engineering.
This tattoo is the schematic for the reference point of electricity. I just think of it as the source of electricity. Its really either the point at which you consider voltage to be 0, or in this pictures case, the physical connection to the earth (hence the lower calf). Electronics has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and I feel like this tattoo doesn’t do it justice. So I plan on getting another one to incorporate my passion for electronics and my trans-humanism beliefs.”