These images each are like a chapter in the "Essential Mysteries" book. The first painting sets the context, from micro to macro. The next five take you from the mathematics of space to matter, life, thinking and finally, traveling with our minds beyond the farthest edges of the known universe. Click on the others and you will learn their stories, too.
From the smallest to the largest, scientists delve deep.
• The smallest are subatomic particles, unseeable, but they leave tracks. That's what atoms are made of.
• Our DNA is a big molecule, made of several different kinds of atoms.
• The hands of mother and child, that is, us.
• With rockets, we can see Earth from space.
• Earth would be just a speck on our sun.
• Our sun is a speck at the edge of a spiral galaxy that has 100 million other stars.
It's a mystery! How amethyst crystals and the flower of a thistle, things that any of us can pick up on a walk in the woods, demonstrate orderly numerical patterns.
Abundant energy suddenly became the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Einstein found that energy and matter are equivalent.
You have seen it in the equals sign in "e=mc2," where e is energy, m is mass, and c the speed of light.
Matter can be made to yield immense amounts of energy: nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.
Myrrh was inspired by a microscopic one-celled animal called a radiolarian:
The black center suggests the living protoplasm.
Around it, white lines represent the glassy cage it creates.
It's a mystery...Here is a boundary between the living and inorganic, nonliving materials.
It's a mystery...How do molecules and neurons think, and how does combining different ideas make a Eureka Moment?
As you do a double-take, you observe your own brain imagining.
It's a mystery...
In our own lifetimes, we have discovered there are about 100 billion galaxies.
By traveling with our minds and making measurements, we can go back 13.7 billion light years, almost to the Big Bang.
From dust we came, to dust we return—but the dust is full of small organisms creating life out of almost nothing—us transformed.
You see colors intermingled and intertwined in a maze. It is a similie for surprising relationships that we find everywhere.
It's a mystery…Plants and animals co-evolving, working together
—or people working together across the oceans, or sending money electronically, or shipfulls of things to sell.
Curious patterns develop.
Oxygen supports every activity. And globally, billions of photosynthesizing microorganisms create the oxygen in the atmosphere.
The smallest scale is intertwined with a very large one, Earth itself.
It's a mystery… All around us, interlinked processes are churning away, even now while you breathe...
without your noticing it,
all kept in synchrony by feedback loops....
exquisite metabolic pathways in every cell of your body are turning the chemicals of sugar and fat into energy!
It's a mystery…exactly when the avalanche will hurtle down, or the stock market tumble.
How does a fallen tree branch cause a blackout in an entire electric grid?
The more finely tuned a complex system is, the more it is flirting with unforeseen failure.
These paintings all treat emergence
When a large variety of chemicals, or materials, or ideas are available, it means that some will combine in a novel way to produce an effect that has an emergent property.
Myrrh has been attracted to “emergent phenomena” at certain boundaries, like between non-life and life...
also attracted to “criticality,” that feature of complex systems that makes the usual behavior of digestion, of forests or of Wall Street trading possible,