The poster was made for an audience of the Gordon Research Conference on Molecular and ionic Clusters (February 2018). It presents a new apparatus I was building for studies of the ultra cold chemistry. The central piece of the poster is the apparatus itself. A “pudding” on a right hand side depicts a potential energy surface of a chemical reaction, which represents processes we want to study. The other parts give descriptions of mechanisms how to cool reactant ions and neutrals.
As our research topic was minor at the conference, I tried to cut the content to a bare minimum understandable to any chemist. I kept the amount of the text low to stimulate visitors to communicate with a presenter (me). The levity of the poster was supposed to attract non-specialists. That is also why the title and the caption font set resembles the film “Back to the future” and the apparatus is depicted from a dynamic perspective that is often used to advertise sport cars (such as the DeLorean that played a role of a time machine in the film). The title “Cold Quantum Chemistry Machine” was also chosen to make an association with the time machine.
The poster was checked from factual and grammatical points of views by native speakers in our group. General acceptance at the conference was good and many people recognised the source of inspiration.
I used VariCAD to draw the apparatus and exported and GIMP to modify a file exported from the CAD program. The potential energy surface (“the pudding”) was plotted and rendered using Mayavi. Other vector graphics, including the title, were made in Inkscape. All pictures were put together in the desktop publishing application Scribus. The choice of the tools is mainly given by the operating system I am using for every day tasks (Linux).
Download the version with a better resolution here.