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
§       View from Jesus Street 
§       Unfinished obelisk   

  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
§       Athensearthquake 
§       Illustration of Graphic novels – and other leaps of logic  

  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.
§       Ptolemais   
§       Templeof 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.
§       The Feynman-Hundertwasser Solution diagrams or graphs explaining the behaviour of subatomic particles.
§       Amplituhedrons – almost miraculous simplification of virtually infinite series of algebraic expressions
§       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.’

  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.’
§       Gyro Maglev 
§       Wind storage 
§       Two wrongs making a right 
§       Space-based solar panels 

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