Powers of Ten is a short educational film made by the office of Charles & Ray Eames for IBM. A successor to an earlier 1968 film sketch, the film demonstrates the relative size of things in the universe by zooming out and in to extreme scales using magnification based on increasing and decreasing powers of ten. It begins with a one-meter square view of two people (played by Swiss designer Paul Brühwiler and Eames Office staff member Etsu Garfias) on a picnic blanket and zooms out at a rate of one power of ten every 10 seconds, showing the earth and increasingly larger astronomical bodies, until the view covers a view 1024 meters (100 million light years) across. The view then quickly zooms back in until slowing down again on the hand of the man on the picnic blanket, where it continues to zoom in to increasingly smaller powers of ten, all the way down to 10–16 meters, showing individual quarks and protons in a carbon atom.
Music for the film was composed and performed by the celebrated composer Elmer Bernstein, with a script provided and narrated by physicist Philip Morrison.
The titles and credits for the film are very simple, set in all-caps Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed. The informational readout of scale throughout the film is set in Univers, with the exponential numerals indicating the current power of ten set much larger than usual for superscript typography. In fact, the superscript numerals appear to be the same size as the base numeral, and are simply set on an elevated baseline.
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See also the brochure promoting Powers of Ten, which similarly uses Franklin Gothic and Univers.