Help finding beautiful science, math and music posters
August 10, 2008 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Help me find beautiful posters with science, math or music as the subject.

Which science, math and music posters do you love?

I've also felt that mathematical formulae and the musical scores of certain pieces have an innate beauty to them. Any examples that come to mind for you?
posted by storybored to Home & Garden (33 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
I'll be watching this thread, because I've never found many good posters in this vein.

That said, googling around just now I found this amusingly obfuscated circle of fifths diagram (looks like solfege around the outside with characterizations of consonance on the lines) by Mersenne.
posted by phrontist at 8:49 PM on August 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Colored mathematical fractals make excellent science-art.

Another example would be a huge, detailed, color-coded chart of the most current Periodic Table of elements.

My personal favorite was a big half-door-sized poster diagramming a detailed and very complicated but fundamental biochemical reaction; I think I originally bought it for a physiology course, but I don't remember, and I'm very sad that I lost it.
posted by Ky at 8:57 PM on August 10, 2008

Edward Tufte's work and the various historical examples he describes are wonderful.
posted by webhund at 9:07 PM on August 10, 2008

Best answer: Periodic table of the elements:
Theodore Gray
Periodic Table in Earth and Sky

Biochemical Pathways (I'm not sure how you get a poster unless you're a customer of Roche.)
posted by lukemeister at 9:08 PM on August 10, 2008 [5 favorites]

lukemeister, those Roche charts are incredible.

If I can get copies of the Metabolic and Cellular/Molecular posters, next time somebody gets all up in my face with some tedious "Yeah? What's the point of SCIENCE anyway?", I'm just gonna point to those babies.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:18 PM on August 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I like those really old sciencey posters like ancient diagrams of the solar system, constellations, astronomy, or old cartography (not science-related, but...). They may not be accurate anymore, but it's a rather interesting reminder to point out where modern science has evolved from.

NASA Hubble images are gorgeous, but I'm not sure if they're available as official posters.

Ugh, lukemeister, that poster reminds me of my old one--so pretty in a geeky way. Maybe the university bookstore around here has something similar, since I got mine at a U store... *plotting*
posted by Ky at 9:20 PM on August 10, 2008

Whoops, bad link. *sigh* Ignore that.
posted by Ky at 9:21 PM on August 10, 2008

Genome visualization. My hs bio classroom had a huge poster (maybe 15ft) of a microarray of a wheat gene. That was pretty cool too.
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:22 PM on August 10, 2008

Best answer:
I'm a big fan of Maria Sibylla Merian, so I was pretty jazzed to find this poster at an insect zoo in Victoria, BC. It's a teensy bit K-12 looking, but nothing can dilute the glory of that woman's painting.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:01 PM on August 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you dig really large numbers, or prime numbers, or both, you may enjoy the posters sold by Perfectly Scientific.
posted by Tube at 10:39 PM on August 10, 2008

Check out the Imaginary Foundation. I've always been mesmerized by their work, and they fit all of your criteria.
posted by messylissa at 12:10 AM on August 11, 2008

Oh, and keep checking the Imginary Foundation. They do limited edition prints, so they cycle on a regular basis.

(They also have some pretty kickass shirts)
posted by messylissa at 12:12 AM on August 11, 2008

You might find some worthy posters in this earlier, related question looking for art expressing innate beauty in nature and science. It lead me to the painting "How Far We've Come" by Bryan Larsen, which I think meets your criteria as well. Great question!
posted by nelleish at 5:11 AM on August 11, 2008

I can't recommend the Roche biochemical pathways posters enough. (I have them, and they're gorgeous.) They'll actually send them to you for free: Click on the "contact Roche" link at the bottom of the Expasy page, and you'll be taken to a page where you can submit your address and so on.
posted by ubersturm at 6:03 AM on August 11, 2008 [5 favorites]

ubersturm, Thanks. Krebs cycle for the win!
posted by lukemeister at 6:33 AM on August 11, 2008

Hot damn, ubersturm.

Also, I actually still have my butterfly alphabet poster. The Nature versions are also pretty.
posted by Ky at 7:10 AM on August 11, 2008

Who could possibly live without a chart of the nuclides?
posted by neuron at 9:20 AM on August 11, 2008

Not many people know this but maple-soft gives away some high quality posters.
Go here and sign up (it's free), then you get the choice of order g one of two poster.

I think I order the Math Hard version which is a very wide poster covering all the areas in science and technology which math has had an effect on.
posted by clueless22 at 10:02 AM on August 11, 2008

Response by poster: Keep those ideas coming!

Just found this *free* poster of the Human Genome. (Click on the banner on the left of the page).

I should expand my original question - which math/music/science picture would you like to see made into a poster? Because you can always do-it-yourself.
posted by storybored at 10:37 AM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Check out if libraries, or better yet, school or university libraries, are having a sale. I've found some really great educational classroom posters from the 60's and 70's about the periodic table, the metric system, astronomy, butchery charts, and our bright nuclear future for less than a dollar apiece at my university's library. Not only scientific, but retro-futuristic to boot!
posted by Durhey at 10:42 AM on August 11, 2008

Best answer: If you haven't tried already... you may have some luck searching Google (or Google Image Search) for variations of "info visualization poster(s)". There are quite a few really beautiful examples of info-visualization/data mashups . For example: Infosthetics has a few poster related articles.
posted by jmnugent at 11:02 AM on August 11, 2008

Best answer: This World History wall-sized poster is coming out in 2009.
posted by jmnugent at 11:04 AM on August 11, 2008

posted by AvailableName at 1:06 PM on August 11, 2008

Best answer: Scimaps prints some great visualizations at poster size.
posted by PueExMachina at 4:11 PM on August 11, 2008

Best answer: I am a huge fan of Justin Mullins's framed equations.
posted by jpdoane at 6:15 PM on August 11, 2008

Best answer: The 88 known objects in our Solar System that are larger than 200 miles in diameter (by MeFi's own kokogiak). I've been meaning to order this for a year now.
posted by gleuschk at 11:23 AM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding infovis poster; there are some really stunning ones out there.

Take a look at Minard's famous Napoleon's March graph. The hand-drawn visualization of a 96-day flight of Salyut 6 on the same site also is quite impressive.

There is a vast amount of great and beautiful music visualizations. Martin Wattenberg's Shape of Song is a nice example.
posted by Henrik at 2:11 PM on August 12, 2008

Best answer: Correlated History of Matter
posted by lukemeister at 5:55 PM on August 12, 2008

Contact the Hans Erni museum in luzern, switzerland. He did a famous painitng called "Panta Rhei", that is available as a poster there, although it is not listed online.

It describes (with images of the discoverees and their inventions) the intellectual flow of mankinds progression from Prometheus and Thales through Freud and Einstein. All a bit dead white maley, but v.v. cool. It's a little like this, but much larger and detailed and a little less cheesy.. More contact info here.
posted by lalochezia at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2008

An alternative periodic table.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:33 PM on August 27, 2008

Yes! I got in touch with Roche Australia and had a reply pretty much instantly: my charts are in the mail! I don't know squat about these guys but I like their style!
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:45 PM on September 1, 2008

They arrived. They are awesome and even have a little booklet for an index. That is all.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:37 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

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