Scale Electric utilises the AFM in the Wolfson Nanotechnology Laboratory in Plymouth to produce data of molecular scans. This data is imported into the Blender game Engine (open source 3D modelling software) to generate landscape. Dome corrected these real time visualisations place visitors to the IVT in a nano landscape.


Scale Electric: Nano Immersion Workshop.

19-20 July 2010


i-DAT is running a two day nano visualisation workshop that links Atomic Force Microscopy (touching molecules) with immersive visualisation – essentially submerging participants in the mythical atomic grey goo. The two day workshop will introduce participants to the Wolfston Nanotechnology Laboratory AFM (scanning  the smallest things imaginable) and then visualise the output within the Full Dome Immersive Vision Theatre.

Throughout the last Century we were reintroduced to the idea of an invisible world. The development of sensing technologies allowed us to ‘feel’ things in the world that we were unaware of (or maybe things we had just forgotten about?). The invisible ‘Hertzian’ landscape was made accessible through instruments that could measure, record and broadcast our fears and desires. Our radios, televisions and mobile phones revealed a parallel world that surrounds us. These instruments endow us with powers that in previous centuries would have been deemed occult or magic.

Our Twenty First Century magic instruments mark a dramatic shift from the hegemony of the eye to a reliance on technologies that do our seeing for us – things so big, small or invisible that it takes a leap of faith to believe they are really there. Our view of the ‘real world’ is increasingly understood through images made of data, things that are measured and felt rather than seen. What we know and what we see is not the same thing – if you see what I mean? The worrying thing is that for a long time we thought the invisible world was made of layers of transparent electromagnetic fields, now through technologies such as the Atomic Force Microscope we are faced with the reality that the ‘invisible’ is actually what constitutes our material world, we can reach out and touch it!


The Wolfson Nanotechnology Laboratory at Plymouth University is a cleanroom based lab for leading edge research in nano-spintronics, computer memory and data storage technology, nano-functional materials and biosensors. Facilities include: A Nordiko 9550 spintronic deposition tool;  microfabrication facility, Nano-R Atomic Force Microscope for nanoscale metrology

Immersive Vision Theatre (Full Dome) is a transdisciplinary instrument for the manifestation of material, immaterial and imaginary worlds. The ‘Full Dome’ architecture houses a powerful high-resolution fish eye projector. The IVT is being used for a range of activities, from cross disciplinary teaching to cutting edge research in modelling and visualisation.


The project builds on the nano research of the Wolfson Lab and the recent work by Phillips (, Speed ( and Carss (

Presenters: Pete Carss, Prof Genhua Pan, Prof Mike Phillips , Dr Chris Speed.

Produced by i-DAT in collaboration with the Wolfson Nanotechnology Lab, Manifest and Ubiquity Journal.