Congratulations to David Rideout!
Project Scientist David Rideout won 3rd place in the UCSD S&E Library's "Art of Science 2011" competition with the following image:
The First 10^-42 Seconds
The attempt to unify Einstein's theory of General Relativity with Quantum Theory indicates that some discrete substratum underlies the spacetime continuum. If one assumes that the principle of cause and effect persists all the way down to the scale of the discrete 'atoms of spacetime', then at this scale space and time consist of a collection of such 'spacetime atoms' along with a notion of which atoms occur before or after others.
The picture depicts what might happen during the 'quantum gravity era' of the universe's history, 10^-42 seconds after a 'moment of creation', in which it expands exponentially into the future from the single discrete element at the bottom.