What’s Missing from Science Textbooks

Caleb Charland is an awesome/badass photographer who takes a bunch of totally unrelated stuff like: a camera, some nails, string, and a magnet to create excellent illustrations of otherwise-invisible magnetic fields. Here’s a smattering of examples.


The enigmatically-named Wooden Box with Horseshoe Magnet.


A slight twist on the lemon battery. This is a pile of limes.


This illustration of soap bubble formation is excellent. The image is mid action, but looks at first glance like a still set up.


Here’s another simple illustration of magnetism or as we prefer to call it: THE INSANELY HIDDEN FORCES OF MAGNETISM! Also featured in Discover Magazine.


Like oil and water, the saying goes, and nearly as equally clichéd is the usual image of oil droplets floating atop a container of water. Here instead, are drops of water sinking steadily to the bottom of a full jar of oil.


A simple illustration of why dry ice is dry. The balloon fills with carbon dioxide gas, evaporated directly from the frozen solid chunk of it in the jar. In going directly from a solid to a gas, skipping the liquid phase of matter, carbon dioxide proves itself once again to be the insufferable miscreant we all know it is.

Water on the other hand, plays by the rules.


Here Caleb has captured spacetime. In addition to the three spatial dimensions of a cube that we usually see in photographs, this image has captured the fourth dimension – time. Each edge of the cube we see IS the length of time required to move a single light source through space. It’s a very elegant way of capturing a fourth dimensional object in a two dimensional image.

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