Artists and scientists may sometimes disagree on the nature of beauty, but their respective aesthetics sometimes align. The arts may be the source of much of our visual imagination, but they are certainly not alone; at least in the creation of memorable, profound images, it's hard to deny the sciences' contributions.
The slideshow below presents ten of our favorite drawings, diagrams and visualizations that are both landmarks in their fields and recognizable by the layperson. They range from the Vitruvian Man and the Mandelbrot set to lesser known--but no less important--neuroscience illustrations of Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Images as old as Leonardo Da Vinci's stand alongside relatively recent works such as CERN's simulation of the as-yet undiscovered Higgs Boson.
Many important concepts and equations in the sciences can be difficult to visualize, but these images are both distinctive and iconic in the history of science and mathematics. It often takes an intrepid researcher with a keen eye for images to dream up the now-iconic visualizations; some of the creators, like Haeckel and Ramón y Cajal, seem as though they could have had parallel careers as artists. But how do these images fare against pieces traditionally acknowledged as "art?" Let us know in the comments.
(Inspired by BoingBoing)