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Powers of 10

Powers_of_10.jpg I still recall seeing the short documentary Powers of 10 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum as a kid. I hadn't realized until recently that the 1977 documentary was made by Charles and Ray Eames. The husband-and-wife team are perhaps best known for their furniture designs, but they also directed, produced, or wrote more than 100 short films.

For those not familiar with the film, the Powers of 10 was so called because it showed the following:

Starting at a one meter square image of a picnic, the camera moves 10 times further away every 10 seconds, reaching to the edge of the universe; then the journey is reversed, going 10 times closer each 10 seconds, ultimately reaching the interior of an atom.

In 1998, the Library of Congress selected Powers of 10 for inclusion in the National Film Registry of significant American works (and you can find a listing of the complete Registry in The World Almanac 2008, available Nov. 13).

Powers of 10 (documentary can be viewed on this official site)
Eames Office
The Work of Charles and Ray Eames (Library of Congress exhibition)
National Film Registry (Library of Congress)

Image: Production art for the Powers of 10, depicting 10^0.


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