Christopher Wilmer has created this image for the cover of Nature Chemistry, a leading scientific journal.
Christopher Wilmer writes:
I am Ph.D. student in chemical engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois, Evanston.
I'm very happy to report that my research, and my Blender artwork, is now on the cover of this month's issue of Nature Chemistry! Their website is: www.nature.com/nchem
Nature Chemistry is one of the top scientific journals in chemistry, so it's quite exciting for me. I am a somewhat of a Blender evangelist at my university this even will undoubtedly help my cause (I've been converting fellow scientists away from Cinema4D and 3dsMax).
A little about the image
The image aims to convey that there are an enormous number of molecules one can use to create new materials. Hence, the number of materials humans have not yet created is vastly enormous. Trying to find an interesting material (to perhaps, capture carbon and save us from global warming) by making it in the lab and testing it is too slow, so we've developed a computational algorithm that speeds up the discovery process significantly.
The molecules are depicted as toys (reminiscent of Tinkertoys), which I arranged in a pile (made using Blender game engine + gravity) and then rendered using Luxrender.