The Universe fits in a glass

The cosmological model for this piece is tuned to match the Sloan Survey, an investigation of all galaxies we can see in one quadrant of the sky. It takes us out to within 1000 megaparsecs of Earth. The survey isn’t finished yet, so you are looking at current research.

Bathsheba Grossman is an artist at ease with the convergence between sculpture and science. The subjects of her work, whether mathematical shapes, proteins or galaxies, are by their complex nature impossible to render by means of traditional techniques, which has led her to using new technologies, like 3D printing and laser etching inside glass.

This latter process allows her to embed a 3D computer model in a block of glass by plotting myriads of little dots with a conical laser beam which microfractures the glass only in the tip of the cone. The quality of the finished sculpture depends very much on the type of laser used, and the scientific models Bathseba portrays demand for a precision which can only be achieved by the finest high frequency lasers. Even more, she’s had to develop custom software to translate of the 3D models to clouds of points.

As a result of all this dedication and hard work, Bathsheba has been able to make some stunning quality glass sculptures, ranging from microscopic molecules -proteins, DNA-, to the immensities of the galaxies and the universe. The Large scale Model represents a sample of the universe, showing its typical configuration over a vast amount of space. As with the rest of the scientific models in the site, it is accurate to research data.

By the way, have you ever met the Nexus?

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