Carl Zimmer: Science Tattoo Emporium (Crystallography in High Heels)
Carl Zimmer is a blogger and writer for both The New York Times and Discover Magazine, which also hosts his blog, The Loom. Zimmer writes on a wide range of scientific topics. He is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed. When Zimmer asked on his blog how many scientists out there had tattoos, he was inundated with photo submissions and commentary, which he has collected into the neat book you can see and order below. It’s our pleasure to share some of them…
Josephine Schuppang of Technical University in Berlin writes,
I was pointed to your blog when I talked to a friend about my newest tattoo. He told me that you are collecting scientific tattoos. I didn’t even know there were other people who did that sort of thing. You bet my tattoo artist looked strangely at me for my request…
So attached find a picture of my tattoo of Bragg’s Law. It is along the side of my left foot and shows nicely in my favorite pair of heels.
I studied Physics, and although I wanted to go in to Astronomy I got lost a bit and landed in Crystallography, which has a long history here in Berlin. Last year I wrote my thesis on the transmission electron microscopy of nitride semiconductors. After my defense I wanted to get a tattoo to remember this occasion. But all the formulas I did use were too long and complex to use, and all the images I took wouldn’t have worked.
So I decided on a fundamental formula, Bragg’s Law. It is important for electron diffraction, so that fits. And I have always liked the Bragg story, the father-son tag team of physics and the fact that William Lawrence Bragg was only 25 when they got their Nobel Prize.