Let's Talk About: Unseen mysteries revealed

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Where evolutionary traits limit our vision, science and technology reveal that our universe is full of phenomena our human eyes cannot see. Without them we are unaware of invisible light waves, the spin of a bullet and the nearly endless microscopic world. Today we take for granted our understanding and knowledge of the things that surround us. Thanks to digital captures, you and I have the power to share images around the globe. Anyone can search online for images of tiny organisms that take refuge on your skin or remarkable videos exhibiting the rotation of Earth through time-lapse photography of the stars; neither would be witnessed without innovation.

The microscope has unlocked inner space. But optical lenses have a limitation as to how small they let us see because the light waves they require are bigger than the simplest building blocks of matter. If you want to see a vibrating molecule, or even an atom, leave the biology laboratory and head for the material science department. Modern material scientists are re-engineering the small stuff. Using an electron microscope, we are able to see beyond the size of one-billionth of a meter, called a nanometer. In the nano world matter behaves differently: The electromagnetic force is stronger than gravity, reflected light presents peculiar colors, and new materials not found in nature can be constructed. Most common examples deal with the placement of carbon atoms to create some of the strongest structures ever conceived. At the nano scale future implications are limitless.

Join us at Carnegie Science Center for a special public event, "Unseen Mysteries Revealed," on April 12 to unravel what used to be the invisible. Immerse yourself on an incredible journey in the biggest screen in Pittsburgh and explore hands-on activities that demonstrate how this new frontier is being reshaped by the science superheroes of today.


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