The world as we have always known it through our own eyes, hides another world from view: the one made up of atoms and molecules. In this world objects are measured in nanometers, meaning in billionths of a meter. Described for a long time only with the help of very advanced mathematics, the world in which objects are measured in nanometers is neither easy to imagine nor easy to see. This is perhaps why mass media use images of artificial landscapes obtained by computer graphics techniques or even scenarios borrowed from science fiction to describe the nanoworld.
What does the nanometer scale world really look like, though? What do researchers see when they use the sophisticated instruments that analyse nano-matter?
The film tells the story of the idea, conceived at the S3 Research Center in Modena, to share with lay audiences images that are usually confined to research labs and to the desks of researchers. Through the eyes of a photographer with a flair for aesthetics, those pictures from the nanoworld acquired a new light and became an exhibition and a book. Blow-up. Images from the nanoworld is a project that allowed scientists to share with us part of their knowledge about the hidden world of the “ultrasmall” – the origin of nature’s basic properties and phenomena - but mostly, a lot of their own sense of wonder.
The film was made to complement the pictures and shown during the exhibition Blow-up. Images from the nanoworld.