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Powerhouse Wedge

The VIZLAB's first public installation is a two-walled VE, affectionately known as a "wedge", part of the permanent exhibition The Universal Machine at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

The environment was a joint project between VIZLAB and researchers from ANU's Plasma Research Laboratory. With software and content created by visualization programmers Drew Whitehouse, Stuart Ramsden and Ajay Limaye, the Powerhouse Wedge incorporates scientific visualizations of research from the ANU and elsewhere.

The pSpace-based software creates correct left-eye and right-eye stereo images for each of the wedge's two screens. In conjuction with IMAX-like 3D stereo glasses, objects appear to float in front of the screens - a true immersive virtual environment. Interactivity occurs via a joystick allowing viewers to manipulate the 3D models in real-time.

Following a non-stereo title sequence explaining the fundamentals of stereo vision,

3D model of 
ANU's heliac plasma device The Heliac is a 3D model of a real ANU experiment used to study the behaviour of ionized gases at extreme temperatures. One day, it could be used as a source of fusion power, the same reaction that powers stars (and our Sun).
model of carbon-60, buckministerfullerene The Bucky Ball, or Buckminsterfullerene, is a very strong molecular structure consisting of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a soccer ball-like structure. Until the recent discovery of Bucky Balls, the only known forms of pure carbon were graphite and diamond.
Mathematical knots are formed by a single closed loop which cannot intersect itself. The theory of knots is a branch of topology and is important in theoretical physics. Mathematicians can detect whether or not two knots which look different are in fact the same. These knots were created by the University of British Columbia's Robert Scharein.
The Gyroid, one of several 'minimal' surfaces filling a 3D space, creates two interpenetrating labyrinths of tunnels. These minimal surfaces have repeating structures like crystals. Mathematicians at ANU use these surfaces to help analyse the geometric properties of 3D crystal lattices.