The University of Chicago has announced the winners of its inaugural “Science as Art” contest, which highlights images of innovative scientific research from the microscopes, computer simulations and X-rays of the UChicago community.
From neurons to nanoparticles, the contest drew more than 100 entries from undergraduates, graduate students, staff, alumni, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members. Together, these images show the pursuit of knowledge in a new light, underscoring the beauty of intellectual exploration.
The grand-prize winner, chosen by a team of judges, is “Chondrules in Meteorites #5,” by UChicago alum Nicole Xike Nie, PhD’19.
Now a postdoctoral researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Nie submitted the image from her research on the molecular makeup of meteorites, which can tell us what the conditions were like in the earliest days of our solar system.
The caption reads: “This photograph shows a thin section of a primitive meteorite called a chondrite. The various colors suggest different minerals that comprise the whole rock. The blue area in the center is what’s called a chondrule. It formed in space when a molten, millimeter-sized silicate droplet crystallized. Chondrules are among the oldest known materials in our solar system.”
The image was taken with a microscope using polarized light, but the color is not altered in any way.