Atom Shifter, 2021
Dedicated to R. C. Wiley, founder of Cal Poly’s Metallurgical Engineering Department
Artist: S. Paterson (b. 1955) Cal Poly Class of 1980
Size: 64” x 31” x 76” mild steel and austenitic stainless steel
About the installation: This sculpture depicts two common atomic arrangements of iron: face-centered cubic (FCC) and body-centered cubic (BCC), both magnified about 1.7 billion times. Iron changes its atomic arrangement when heated, when cooled at different rates, or when subjected to large pressure changes. Metallurgists can control the atomic arrangement to create a variety of iron-based materials with a wide range of properties. The rust-colored atomic arrangement is BCC and is fabricated from mild steel which has a BCC structure at room temperature. The shiny atomic arrangement is FCC and is fabricated from austenitic stainless steel which has an FCC structure at room temperature.
Fabrication Team: S. Paterson, R. Adams, N. Stenton Donated June 2021 by Welding & Metallurgical Engineering Alumni
Making of video: https://youtu.be/o3O9MI3NuO8
Located adjacent to building 41A
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