The concept for this project is simple and is based on the groundbreaking 1977 Eames film "Powers of Ten" which is in turn based on the 1957 book by Kees Boeke, Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps.
If the user only has access to head tracking then the experience will be put on a ping ponging loop, out to the macro scale and then back down again into the micro scale. If the user has access to a device they'll be able to control their level of zoom.
We'll capture and create our material in a variety of ways. Visible light microscopes may be used to capture images down to the diffraction limit of 200 nanometers, past that we'll employ AFM (atomic force microscopy) microscopes which can see individual atoms. For the atomic scale we'll visualize the orbits of an atom using spherical harmonics, with clouds of flashing sprites as electrons.
Alternately, we may stylize the images, using (for instance) a low poly look.
Time constraints will determine how far in and out we go. For a first version the thought is to start at the human scale and zoom into the electron cloud of an atom. If we go past that we'd come across the nucleus and then the variety of subatomic particles until we find ourselves at the Planck length and string theory. On the way out we'd want to go as far as the extents of the visible universe, using open data sets to accurately generate the positions of star and galaxy clusters.
This is no small undertaking obviously. Stylization will allow us to add more content to the piece. Simpler geometry and textures will bring the focus to the scaling experience more than the accuracy of the renderings.