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A doctoral thesis in theoretical solid state comic book form.
A doctoral thesis in theoretical solid state comic book form.
537 backers pledged $14,400 to help bring this project to life.
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 About this comic

What you see above is a modified excerpt from the first few pages of the actual comic book, just to give you a taste of what's to come.  I promise you a good scientific story, with a little humor thrown in.

I wrote and illustrated this book as a version of my doctoral thesis in chemistry, made for non-scientists.  My graduate research centered on the question of why crystalline solids form the patterns that they do. Specifically, we became interested in the origins of quasicrystals, a type of solid material that has rotational symmetry, but the pattern never repeats itself.  

The whole book takes you from the basics behind this work all the way to its connection to quasicrystals in six sections:

  • Why we care about solid structures
  • Our idea of chemical pressure, and our understanding of the way atoms interact
  • How we use computers to bring our model into three dimensions
  • Introducing a CaCu5 as a model system to understand chemical pressure
  • Extending our model to a nobel prize winning material: quasicrystals
  • Where this research is going in the future

The book itself will be printed on high quality paper, with perfect binding in the style of a trade paperback comic book.  The $20 you'll pay for a copy will cover the printing costs and delivery from the printer to me.  The additional shipping fee is so that I can get the book to you.

As a kid, I would have loved to learn a little bit about current scientific research, presented in a familiar format.  If I am successful in this campaign, I've budgeted to make a few extra copies so that I can give the book to my high school library and libraries in Madison, WI, where I did my graduate work. 

About Me

My name is Veronica Berns, and I recently finished my PhD in the Chemistry Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Before that, I was a kid who took every science class possible, and never missed an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy.

At some point last year when I was putting together my thesis, I realized that I was working on something I really loved, and I didn't have a good way to talk about it with people who aren't my fellow solid state chemists.  That's when I started to draw and write this comic book.

Risks and challenges

All of the art and writing is done for the whole comic. I also already have a printer lined up to do the work printing the book.
The only tricky points I anticipate will be if there is a delay in printing or shipping, to which I will say, I'll push things forward the best I can.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    One print copy of my comic book, Atomic Size Matters, shipped to your doorstep.

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Funding period

- (30 days)