Robert Shults: The Superlative Light
The Superlative Light presents a layperson's awestruck experience of the Texas Petawatt Laser, an unparalleled research facility which produces the most powerful laser pulse anywhere in the world. Texas-based photographer Robert Shults' series of images draws upon the visual traditions of “grade B” science-fiction cinema in its exploration of a truly unique space where some of the most extreme conditions in the universe are recreated, recasting real working scientists as the heroes of an imaginary epic. The book features a scientific introduction by Dr. Todd Ditmire, director of the Texas Petawatt at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an original science fiction story by award-winning author and mathematician Rudy Rucker. Additionally, each copy of the volume includes a unique bookmark made from specialized laser “burn paper,” with an image etched directly onto its surface by the Texas Petawatt.