Powers of Ten

    • Charles Eames, Ray Eames
    • United States
    • 1977
    • 9 min
    • Top 10
    A man is sitting on a picnic blanket in a Chicago park on Lake Michigan. He is filmed from above. Every 10 seconds, the camera zooms out by a factor of 10: 10 meters becomes 100 meters, which then becomes 1,000, and so forth. Chicago comes into view, the United States, the whole of planet Earth, our solar system and finally the entire universe, with constellations floating around like clouds of cream in ink-black coffee. Then we travel in the other direction: back to the man on the blanket, we pass through white blood cells and DNA helices to the other extreme end of the scale: electrons. Powers of Ten was produced by designers Ray and Charles Eames. Their point of departure was the book Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps (1957) by Dutch educator Kees Boeke. This short film very effectively puts our place at the center of the world into perspective. In 1998, Powers of Ten was recognized as part of America’s cultural heritage and inducted into the Library of Congress.


    • 9 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: English
    Charles Eames, Ray Eames
    Elmer Bernstein
    Philip Morrison
    Screening copy
    Eames Office

    IDFA history

    Share this film

    Print this page

    IDFA history

    This website uses cookies.

    By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

     here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies