“Study the science of art, and the art of science.” That quote, from Leonardo da Vinci, serves as inspiration for Princeton University’s annual “Art of Science” competition, open to all members of the university’s community. The theme in 2010, the fourth year of the contest, was “energy,” broadly defined. All of the works captured, or arose from, research in progress.

The winner was Jerry Ross, a researcher at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, for “Xenon Plasma Accelerator,” a title that received some explained in a sub-caption: “The Hall thruster is an electric propulsion technology that uses magnetic and electric fields to ionize and accelerate propellant. In this image the plasma accelerator is operating on xenon propellant.”