Professor of Physics Smitha Vishveshwara from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will be presenting on "Quantum Voyages, Cosmic Journeys: Exploring Physics through the Arts." This presentation takes a unique gaze at physics through the artistic spectrum. Join us in Hayes 211/213 or via Zoom at 12 p.m. for the presentation.
From ancient monuments to modern day films, the confluence of the arts and physics has resulted in creations that have led to a deeper understanding of nature, to friendly and enchanting ways of perceiving science in action, to giving the arts a new dimension, to technological progress, and to pure fun! In this talk, I will describe the educational power of such confluences and recount some of our experiences in this realm. In a project-based interdisciplinary course entitled Where the arts meets physics, we bring alive the universe and the quantum world through installation and performance — cosmic canopies housing black hole mergers, raps on radioactivity, Warhol versions of Bohr-Einstein debates, and more. Collaborations with theater, music and dance have led two original performance pieces that explore the magic and beauty of the quantum world, Quantum Voyages and Quantum Rhapsodies. I will share the science, stories, and process behind the making and performing of these pieces, and conclude with a description our latest adventure — a virtual art-science festival entitled The Illuminated Universe.