John von Neumann, Claude Shannon and others helped the Eames create this elegant, poetic, economical and informative film in 1953.
Relevant and resonant extracts from art, science and life and the place where patterns begin to emerge.
The excited energy states of the nitrogen nucleus.
Wonderful and extraordinary creations by physicist/artist Theo Jansen.
To a poet a thousand years hence.
I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.
I care not if you bridge the seas,
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.
But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
And prayers to them who sit above?
How shall we conquer? Like a wind
That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Maeonides the blind
Said it three thousand years ago.
O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.
Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.
-James Elroy Flecker
I had the pleasure of visiting the soulful and welcoming Goldmark gallery in Uppingham last weekend to see the large exhibition of Rembrandt's etchings. I particularly enjoyed his use of line and the treatment of light in this picture.
I've been talking to the team measuring the shape of the electron at Imperial. The idea of precession is central to their experiment and is one of the most counter-intuitive ideas in physics. Here, the brilliant Walter Lewin at MIT gives the best explanation I can find. The shape of the precessing object is intrinsically linked to its precession speed and Walter gives a fine demonstration of this phenomenon.
Footage from a camera attached to the solid rocket booster on the Shuttle. In 400 seconds we leave Earth, enter space and plunge back into the sea.
Isaac Newton's beautiful drawing keeps coming to mind with respect to one of the projects we're working on.
Thought provoking, clever, entertaining..............
I recently saw a brilliant and moving exhibition at the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace of the photographs taken by the dedicated photographers of the expeditions of Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton in the Antarctic nearly 100 years ago.
I was struck by this image - Shackleton and four others leave the rest of the group (it turned out for several months) to seek help at the whaling station of South Georgia. This poignant image shows the little reinforced boat departing - with its sides slightly raised and a cover made. Desperate good wishes and hopes are writ large in the gestures of everyone left behind in the harsh environment of Elephant island.
I discovered this image of Abdus Salam recently in a talk by Tom Kibble and am struck by its beauty. The text on the wall is a 16c Persian prayer - a reminder of the power of miracles provided they are initiated with hard work.
Salam - a devout muslim, saw his religion as an integral part of his work and once said:
"The Holy Quran enjoins us to reflect on the verities of Allah's created laws of nature; however, that our generation has been privileged to glimpse a part of His design is a bounty and a grace for which I render thanks with a humble heart."
In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1979 , he quoted these verses from the Quran:
"Thou seest not, in the creation of the All-merciful any imperfection, return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure. Then return thy gaze, again and again. Thy gaze, comes back to thee dazzled, aweary."
and then said
"This, in effect, is the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze."
It was a pleasure to visit the newly reopened show of works in Derby this weekend. Joseph Wright is probably most well known for his paintings depicting demonstrations of science (see last image of the orrery) during the enlightenment and his use of strong light-dark effects (chiaroscuro).
This image of a rainbow drew my attention for the strange rendering of the colours which missed the red from the usual rainbow sequence and replaced it with more of a violet outer edge. It left me wondering if the paint had changed during the last two hundred years or if he'd chosen to weave his own rainbow and pay less attention to nature to possibly make a better picture.
My restorer, conservationist friend, HGW has a perspective on the missing red of the rainbow....
"Joseph did have problems with his pigments, like many 18thC British artists; and quite a few of his paintings, particularly the darker ones where he mixed bituminous substances and employed drying additives, have resulted in shrinkage of the paint layer. 18th C pigments were not as stable as 19th and later. Reds, for instance, reacted to sunlight and faded. No doubt he added the red over his sky and the fading of the red, coupled with a cooler hue beneath will give a more violet colour. If, for instance, the blue of the sky contained a degree of 'smalt', a blue glass pigment which reacts with the oil in the medium and fades to grey, this also might give a violet hue.
Just a couple of thoughts; would need to check old Joseph's paint box to be absolutely sure!"
Have been thinking about using natural light in a new project and took this image of the wall at home and found these three remarkable images made by camera obscura techniques. And this famous camera obscura scene from 'A Matter of Life and Death'.
Lambs that learn to walk in snow
When their bleating clouds the air
Meet a vast unwelcome, know
Nothing but a sunless glare.
Newly stumbling to and fro
All they find, outside the fold,
Is a wretched width of cold.
As they wait beside the ewe,
Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies
Hidden round them, waiting too,
Earth's immeasurable surprise.
They could not grasp it if they knew,
What so soon will wake and grow
Utterly unlike the snow.
Tops heel and yaw,
Sent newly spinning:
Squirm round the floor
At the beginning,
Then draw up
Like candle flames, till
They are soundless, asleep,
Moving, yet still.
So they run on,
Until, with a falter,
A flicker - soon gone -
Their pace starts to alter:
As if hopelessly tired
They wobble, and then
The poise we admired
Reels, clatters and sprawls,
- And what most appals
Is that tiny first shiver,
That stumble, whereby
We know beyond doubt
They have almost run out
And are starting to die.
JOHANN STRAUSS: The Blue Danube - Waltz.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Georg Szell, conductor.
HMV 78rpm disc C.2686 (32-4795, 4796).
Recorded June 23, 1934.
Beautiful - a possible soundtrack for a little film called 'In Physics'.