Eric Heller: Transport II

  • ©,



    Transport II


Creation Year:



    Lightjet - using Lumniange process printer on archival color photographic paper, Fuji Crystal Archive


    50 inches x 36 inches



Artist Statement:

    “Transport II” shows the flow pattern for electrons riding over a bumpy landscape. The bumps are caused by the irregular arrangement of nearby atoms, some of which donated the electrons, and are thus positively charged. The electrons have more than enough energy to ride over the highest bumps in the landscape. The concentrations of electron flow into branches are newly discovered indirect effects of that bumpy ride. The branching seen here was not anticipated; it was thought that the flow would be more evenly spread out some distance from the center. This has significant implications for small electronic devices of the future. This image comes from a numerical simulation which closely approximated what is seen experimentally, using extremely sensitive probes which can sample thousands of data points inside a space as small as a typical bacterium. The whole picture occupies a hundredth of the width of a human hair.

    About 60,000 individual electron tracks are shown here. Each track added grayscale density to nearby pixels as it passed by, so the dark areas depict where many electrons went, one at a time. All electrons were launched at the center and were sent in all directions equally. The existence of dark branches rather far from the launch point is surprising, as no valleys or other simple features of the landscape guide the branches. A color map change to green tones and some sharpening and contrast control provide the organic allusions.

    This image was used as the cover of the March 8, 200 I Nature magazine, in conjunction with publication of the article about the science.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    Harvard University