Cool Science

xray molecules
Special X-ray colors resonate with bonds in molecules -- methyl is pictured in this illustration -- enabling scientists to selectively probe chemically distinct parts of micelle nanocarriers.

Credit: Image created by Ryan Allen of Second Bay Studios for Washington State University

pattern of annual rings in shrub stems
Pattern of annual rings in shrub stems

Credit: Image courtesy of Daniel Ackerman

An extreme close-up of the eye of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly.
An extreme close-up of the eye of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly.

Credit: Northwestern University

Image of a microscopic image of water droplet residue. The Image looks like a blue sunflower.
An optical microscope image of liquid droplet residue from water-based chemicals. The width of the entire residue is 1/2 millimeter. The droplets on the outer edges are 10 microns in diameter, seven times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Credit: Devin K. Brown, Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology, Georgia Institute of Technology

abstract blue and green microwave vibrations
Microwaves traveling through sample inside an NMR magnet

Credit: Faith Scott, National MagLab

Electrospun polymer microfibers, "String Theory"

Credit: Peter Coneski, Jessica Nash and Mark Schoenfisch

Underside of artificially selected blue buckeye butterfly wing scales showing their iridescent lamina

Credit: Rachel Thayer

An array of microneedles along the surface of a medical patch.
An array of microneedles along the surface of a medical patch.

Credit: Sisi Cao

New crystal form of imidacloprid insecticide

Credit: Xiaolong Zhu, New York University

New crystal form of imidacloprid insecticide

Credit: Xiaolong Zhu, New York University

New crystal form of imidacloprid insecticide

Credit: Xiaolong Zhu, New York University

New crystal form of imidacloprid insecticide

Credit: Xiaolong Zhu, New York University

New crystal form of imidacloprid insecticide
New crystal form of imidacloprid insecticide

Credit: Xiaolong Zhu, New York University

Twisting and untwisting crystals

Credit: John Freudenthal and Alexander Shtukenberg, New York University

Fish skin provides invisibility in open ocean

Credit: Shulei Zhao

Image of two black holes merging. Gravitational waves can be seen between the two.
The merging of a pair of binary black holes produced gravitational waves equal to the energy of eight suns, the most massive black hole merger yet observed in gravitational waves.

Credit: Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for GravitationalWave Discovery (OzGrav)/Swinburne University

Beetle wearing a tiny camera on its back.
A pinacate beetle wears a tiny wireless, steerable camera developed by researchers at the University of Washington.

Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

Image of robotic snake moving in sand.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers who develop snake-like robots have analyzed the motions of sidewinder rattlesnakes and showed how their complex motion can be described in terms of vertical and horizontal body waves.

Credit: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Intricate polymer brush patterns

Credit: Christian Pester, UC-Santa Barbara

Medusa' shaped droplets containing liquid crystal molecules

Credit: Wei-Shao Wei, Arjun G. Yodh, and Felice Macera, Department of Physics and Astronomy & LRSM, University of Pennsylvania

A multi-center hydrogen bond

Credit: Professor Chris Van de Walle, Dr. Anderson Janotti, Solid State Lighting and Energy, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB); Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Lance Putnam and Basak Alper, Media Arts and Technology, UCSB

skull with teeth
A cast of the skull of Lucy, the australopith Australopithecus afarensis from Ethiopia, was included in a study that found the evolution of human teeth is much simpler than was previously thought.

Credit: David Hocking, Monash University

These fantastical structures are the microscopic crystals that make up a sea urchin's tooth. "Biomineral single crystals."

Credit: Pupa U.P.A. Gilbert and Christopher E. Killian

Shooting quantum particles resembles pattern like a turtle

Credit: Courtesy of Cheng, Physics Department, University of Chicago

Region of 'Renaissance Simulation' created on Blue Waters

Credit: Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

DNA Shape. The strong lines in this image echo the sinuous shape of a single strand of DNA.

Credit: Jaya G. Yodh Ph.D., teaching assistant professor, medical education facilitator, Carle Illinois College of Medicine; research assistant professor, Department of Physics, NSF Center for the Physics of Living Cells, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Large-scale Online Social Network Visualization

Credit: Jeffrey Heer, Computer Science Division, University of California at Berkeley

Rat brain showing three specific lipids

Credit: Don Smith, National MagLab

"To a nerdy physicist," says Shields, "this image was reminiscent of the Sarlacc, the tentacled desert monster in "Star Wars" that Jabba the Hutt tries to use to execute Luke Skywalker by slow digestion over a thousand years."

Credit: Adam Shields

Total quantum state of buckyballs measured

Credit: Ye Group and Steven Burrows/JILA

Confocal microscopy image of nerve fibers in zebrafish brain

Credit: HHMI Janelia Research Campus

Nanoporous gold contains tiny pores that can filter DNA from other biomolecules and can be used to make DNA detection devices for use in diagnostics.

Credit: Erkin Şeker, UC Davis

liquid crystals
Liquid crystals bend light into psychedelic patterns.

Credit: Oleg Lavrentovich, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University

Butterfly wings dazzle with their array of patterns and colors.

Credit: Frances Allen, Rachel Thayer and Nipam Patel, Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center/qb3, UC Berkeley

3D rendering neurons
This 3D rendering shows a new way to manufacture circuits directly onto neurons.

Credit: Ella Maru Studio and Yoon Seok Kim/Jia Liu, Deisseroth/Bao laboratories, Stanford University

In this illustration, an object called a trefoil knot hovers amidst superconducting qubit chips.
In this illustration, an object called a trefoil knot hovers amidst superconducting qubit chips.

Credit: P. Roushan\Martinis lab\UC Santa Barbara

The sparkling metallic colors of birds like this Mariqua sunbird.

Credit: Microscopy image by Rosalyn Price-Waldman and Klara Nordén, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University