Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Illustrate a Physics Textbook

I am writing a book, ‘The Fine Art of Physics,’ about the historical importance of crossovers between the arts and sciences and the resulting knowledge breakthroughs that occur at the intersection of disciplines.  The following list summarizes the paintings in the book.

How to Illustrate a Physics Textbook

  1. The usual method, measuring angles and that sort of thing, 
§       Kenya  – inverted version emphasizing lines to vanishing point

  1. Impressionism
§       Giverny, après Monet – beyond the rules of geometry and perspective

  1. Cubism – multiple viewpoints

  1. Futurism and the Avant Garde – predictive, extrapolation of time, space-time continuum
§       Glacier on a staircase – abstract presentation of motion, or ‘explosion in a shingle factory’ technique

  1. Collage.
§       Illustration of Graphic novels – and other leaps of logic

  1. Allegory – art form representing or symbolizing ideas and concepts with immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts. It conveys its hidden message through symbolic figures, actions and imagery
§       The Ascent of the Mons Philosophorum
§       Intersections of diametrically opposed disciplines

  1. Computer manipulation of digital images
§       Carthage  – two photographs, Punic ruins and Phoenician alphabet. The main advantage of using a computer to create overlays is that by selectively brightening or sharpening sections of each layer, or altering the layer blending mode, unlimited possibilities are made available. This is of course its main disadvantage as well.
§       Temple of Serapis  – photographs and painting
§       Inuksuk in Victoria Harbour – to create distortion, mirror images, fractals   

  1. Geometry
§       Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia  – elliptic and hyperbolic paraboloids
§       4D object + its 3D shadow – a tesseract in which the required eight cubes are aligned along the four extended diagonals of the central cube, four on the diagonals projecting out the back four corners of the cube and four on those emerging out the front.
§       Projective, or shadow, model of four-dimensional geometry
§       The Feynman-Hundertwasser Solution – Feynman diagrams, which are pictorial representations of the mathematical expressions governing the behaviour of subatomic particles. explaining the behaviour of subatomic particles.
§       The Theory of Everything – Amplituhedrons, an almost miraculous simplification of virtually infinite series of algebraic expressions 
§       An Exaltation of Qubits – Bloch spheres,  geometrical representation visualizing a qubit – the basis for quantum computing
§       Fractal gravity leaks.  Fractal patterns with various degrees of self-similarity have been rendered or studied in images, structures and sounds, and found in nature, technology and art. One of the more easily understood definitions is ‘swirls upon swirls.’
§       HundertwasserHaus (4) Hundertwasser’s district heating plant – organic geometry, après Hundrtwasser

  1. Posters – Usually, a poster is designed to get attention and deliver a clear, concise message. It is easily readable, with a straightforward quickly understood message, and no extraneous words or illustrations. But sometimes posters are supposed to make you think… by starting with unsolved problems, or puzzles with no answers. They are intended as art. Art posters are not easily read, may be ambiguous, and may contain all sorts of apparently extraneous stuff. Four posters showing ‘Tangential process of creative ideation, industrial design and invention’

Updated 27 September 2014  

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