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2012-03-25 Conformally invariant patt...

2012-03-21 In Flight

2012-03-16 Spherical worlds

2012-03-02 Ferrofluids

2012-02-26 Starry Night

2012-02-12 The Scale of the Universe

2012-01-17 Internet strike

2012-01-01 Gravity Stools

2011-11-01 Two animations

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A blog about algorithmic art and fractal aesthetic. Click here to subscribe to the RSS feed.

February 12th 2012

The Scale of the Universe

"The Scale of the Universe" is a flash animation by Cary Huang using a zoomable image to give a sense of the scales of various objects in the universe. It does a great job at exhibiting the stunningly wide scale range over which physical phenomena take place (about 63 orders of magnitude), compared to our limited everyday experience (at best a few orders of magnitude).

On the art side, my main interest in fractals is that with their detailed structures stretching over a large scale range, they mimick this aspect of our universe, which is impossible to capture with traditional media. See for instance this old blog post about multiscale art. A few months ago, I rendered a very deep zoom on a Ducks fractal. Zooming around the origin on a Ducks fractal costs almost nothing in term of computing time, what allows quick renders of deep zooms. I decided that it would be fun to zoom by 63 orders of magnitude, the scale range separating the radius of the observable universe to the Planck length. You can watch the animation (displayed with the Whoosh applet by Damien Jones) by clicking on the picture below. It's quite heavy, about 93 MB, but it will start before the whole animation has loaded. Of course it is not nearly as interesting as Cary Huang's flash animation, so check the latter first.

Deep zoom animation by Samuel Monnier

A deep zoom animation based on 20110403. The zoom runs over 63 orders of magnitude. Click on the picture and use the controls on the bottom right to change the zooming speed.

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