The Polytechnic Museum
The structure of the atom - poster and augmented reality (AR) app
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Visual Science Studio created a series of educational posters and augmented reality applications for the Science Laboratories of the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow. The project aims to motivate and attract students’ attention to the topics of the school program in the natural sciences, combining the traditional form of the educational poster, familiar to most teachers and a user-friendly mobile application format. For each of the selected topics, we created their own augmented reality (AR) and the electronic version of the poster, which provides the opportunity to delve into the study of the issue in an interactive manner.

The first series of posters and application sections is devoted to four topics: Anatomy of the frog; DNA, RNA, and protein; the Atom; and a Solubility table. The poster design process involved using scientific methods such as computed microtomography, molecular modeling and dynamics, as well as data on the shape of different atomic orbitals. Posters are available for teachers who attended the educational laboratories of the Polytechnic Museum, a free app with augmented reality and electronic versions of the posters are available on Google Play and at the App Store.


The structure of the atom shown in the example of uranium-238.The model of the atom includes 45 electronic orbitals with significantly greater detail and accuracy than the models previously published. Also, the poster shows the relationship between nuclear charge and the element symbol; total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and the atomic weight; shapes, sizes, spatial orientation of the orbitals and their symbols; positions of electrons on the orbitals and appearance of the chart, often used in teaching materials for the display of the electronic configuration. The central illustration includes the rules by which electrons occupy energy levels and sublevels in an atom. A portion of the poster is dedicated to radioactive decay as an example of the uranium atom. Augmented reality allows the viewer to change the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons in the atom model, providing an image of the atoms of all chemical elements from hydrogen to uranium on the same scale. Also tapping on the cell of the electronic configuration chart displays the corresponding orbital on the screen. All the models can be rotated in any direction in AR. Electronic versions of the poster include all images and text in high quality.

  • Project manager, 3D visualiser:
    Ivan Konstantinov
  • Design:
    Kirill Martyanov
  • Science consultant, author of the texts:
    Ivan Sorokin, Ph.D.
  • Science consultant:
    Yury Stefanov, Ph.D.
  • 3D-modeller:
    Ivan Ivanov
  • Programming:
    Denis Islamov
  • Manufacturing quality control:
    Marina Deeva

We are grateful to Ivan Bogantsev (Ph.D. Deputy Director General for science communication and educational activity) for his input to the project

Based on our experience, we highly recommend Visual Science as a reliable, trustworthy partner with excellent scientific, artistic and organisational expertise.
Alan Bernstein
OC, PhD, FRSC, Executive Director at Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise (US)