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Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited$
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Catelijne Coopman, Janet Vertesi, Michaeland Lynch, and Steve Woolgar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262525381

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262525381.001.0001

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Nanoimages as Hybrid Monsters

Nanoimages as Hybrid Monsters

(p.177) 9 Nanoimages as Hybrid Monsters
Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited

Martin Ruivenkamp

Arie Rip

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the role of images in nanotechnology. Nanotechnology includes an array of scientific and engineering fields in which researchers observe and manipulate materials at or near the nanometer scale (one billionth of a meter). The very idea of visualizing nanoscale phenomena is controversial, as such phenomena are far smaller than a wavelength of light; nevertheless, nanoimages are ubiquitous in research articles, press releases, and other displays of nanoscale phenomena. This chapter shows how such images often take a hybrid form, freely combining elements of traditional scientific representation with speculative portrayals that showcase promised and imagined possibilities. Three emerging genre of nanoimages are presented, and the authors critically discuss the possibility that they exemplify a new mode of scientific representation.

Keywords:   Nanotechnology, Hybrid images, Representation of invisible objects

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