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Sessão | Nanoimagens



ABSTRACTS
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Imaging the nanostructures and nanodevices

Paulo Freitas
, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal

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Not available

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Different ways of looking at things: a discussion of the complexity of imaging at the nano-scale

Bodil Holst
, Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Norway

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It has often been said that the field of nano-technology and nano-science was born with the invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) in the early eighties of last century. With this new instrument it became possible for the first time to image surfaces directly on the atomic scale. Information about structure on the nano-scale had, however, been available for a long time through so called diffraction techniques, where x-rays, electrons, neutrons or even atoms or molecules are used as the investigating probes.


In this work I explain the limits and advantages of diffraction techniques in comparison to direct imaging on the nano-scale, giving some examples also on how the principles of diffraction have been used in art. For the scientific part, I use examples taken partly from my own research on the nano-structure of quartz-surfaces. Furthermore I describe work on the development of new imaging methods for the nano-scale, among others related to my own work on the development of a new microscope using a beam of neutral helium as an imaging probe. I use these examples to argue that the progress of science in general and nano-technology and nano-science in particular, depends crucially on the development of new imaging tools. Finally I discuss the “danger” of new imaging methods. As the complexity of the methods increase the possibility of error also increase. Furthermore, the images produced can “seduce” even scientists with their visual power to create the impression that they represent the complete reality and not simply a particular way of looking at things.  

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A brief phylogenesis and ontogenesis of nanoimages: the normative and preformative role of visual language in the formation of the contemporary nanotechnological world

Alice Benessia
, I.R.I.S. – Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability, University of Torino, Italy

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Visual language is essential for understanding and sharing experimental results within the science community; at the same time, it is crucial not only for communicating new technoscientific insights, but also for persuading the public at large (citizens as well as decision makers).

The new and constantly evolving image-processing technologies allow manipulating raw scientific data in more and more sophisticated ways. New guiding principles for producing visual evidence, essentially arising from aesthetic concerns, pervade science labs and specialized literature, mixing a variety of expertise, creating new controversial kinds of imagery, bridging epistemic and methodological gaps in unexplored ways.

The borderline between visual evidence and elaborated design products is now very thin. Powerful visual metaphors are often constructed and presented outside of the community of peers, to citizens as well as to policy makers, as matter-of-fact reproductions or illustrations of technoscientific research results, hiding axiological assumptions behind the aura of objectivity and neutrality of science.
                                                                     
In this work, I will briefly explore the role of visual language in the formation of nanotechnology as a unified field of research. I will provide some elements of reflection on the image-making process and its epistemic and normative implications in the history on nanotechnology. I will make the argument that in the construction of the nanotechnological vision, images can be interpreted not only as representations but also as demonstrations, therefore playing an essential performative role.

Finally, I will draw some conclusions on the images of nanotechnology in the more general terms of a multi-dimensional space of standard technoscientific imaginaries of modernity, implemented as sophisticated epistemic marketing device: marvel, power, control and urgency.

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The Artist as Mediator in Seeing and Understanding Nanotechnology

Chris Robinson
, Department of Art/NanoCenter, University of South Carolina, USA

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This presentation will address the visual arts role in the development of nanotechnology, along with the types of influence the arts can and should have on that development.

Images are playing an instrumental role in the development of nanotechnology. Algorithmic microscopy seeks to illuminate and confirm the developmental theory that currently does not allow traditional visual confirmation. The scale is too small for optical microscopy, happening at a range smaller than wavelengths of light, and a collection of instruments have been developed to ‘see’ or understand what is transpiring. Since the images are algorithmically generated, and often evade our normal visual conventions, there is broad opportunity for both image manipulation and speculation. Many scientists and engineers have become self-proclaimed experts in how these images are altered and presented, what they convey, and what they mean. Several images have become iconic to the development of the science, yet often confuse, and mislead more then they illuminate, confirm, or convey. Bland graphs and charts of the past have been replaced by rich, colorful visual documentation and wild speculation unconstrained by little semblance of fact or truth.

Nanotechnology proposes significant promise and influence for the future of culture along with rapid emergence of sweeping change. The scale is important because it embodies the very building blocks of life, and observation, manipulation, and construction are having a profound effect on the development as well as how the public perceives and understands its meaning and purpose. Artists and cultural observers have the opportunity and an obligation to be a party to this development and to help shape beneficial and meaningful assimilation, growth, and the resulting effect on culture.

A viewing public, not to speak of other scientists and investigators, risk being seduced and mislead by images that have been manipulated for their attention attracting qualities more so than the illumination of science. The quantum scale compounds this confusion and by its very nature offers physical attributes that fall well out of our normal understanding and at rates of speed that are equally hard to comprehend.

The presentation will offer examples of why it is important for the arts to be involved in the mediation of this complex technology and distinctive failures as well as productive models, the resulting loss of trust when the visual experts are not involved, and how these instruments and conventions may change how and what it means to see.

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