Artwork Saturday

This image obtained from NASA on January 24, 2013 shows nearly 200, 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, as it floats in space, around our galaxy. As the Milky Way’s gravity gently tugs on its neighbour’s gas clouds, they collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a kaleidoscope of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is ablaze with star-forming regions. From the Tarantula Nebula, the brightest stellar nursery in our cosmic neighborhood, to LHA 120-N 11, part of which is featured in this Hubble image, the small and irregular galaxy is scattered with glowing nebulae, the most noticeable sign that new stars are being born. /Getty Images

This image obtained from NASA on January 24, 2013 shows nearly 200, 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, as it floats in space, around our galaxy. As the Milky Way‚ gravity gently tugs on its neighbour‚ gas clouds, they collapse to form new stars. In turn, these light up the gas clouds in a kaleidoscope of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is ablaze with star-forming regions. From the Tarantula Nebula, the brightest stellar nursery in our cosmic neighborhood, to LHA 120-N 11, part of which is featured in this Hubble image, the small and irregular galaxy is scattered with glowing nebulae, the most noticeable sign that new stars are being born./AFP/Getty Images

SPIEGEL: Professor Wilczek, Goethe once said one should hear a little music, read a little poetry and look at a beautiful picture every day so that worldly cares don’t obliterate one’s sense of beauty. Have you already had your daily bit of beauty today?

Wilczek: More than just a bit today. I’ve been reading books about art history and looking at pictures. I also have a very ambitious summer reading program. Today I read a science fiction book, “Starmaker” by Olaf Stapledon. It may not be a literary masterpiece, but it’s full of inspiring visions. Normally I also play the piano quite a bit, but our piano has gotten out of tune while we were abroad.

SPIEGEL: In your new book, “A Beautiful Question,” you write that physics also appeals to our sense of beauty. Does art inspire you when you’re studying the laws of nature?

Wilczek: It would be hard to say it is directly inspiring, but I’m convinced that art and science activate the same parts of the brain. The brain rewards us for interacting with beautiful things. In this way, evolution wants to encourage us to do what is good for us. This applies to many things of course, but one of them is the understanding of how things are going to behave.

SPIEGEL: We try to make sense of things …

Wilczek: … yes. And when we succeed, we perceive it as beauty.

SPIEGEL: What is “beautiful” about physics?

Wilczek: Don’t you find it compelling, for example, that the equations that have been developed to describe musical instruments are very nearly the same as the equations that govern how atoms work? In a violin or a piano, sounds are produced by the vibrations of sounding boards or strings. In atoms, the things that vibrate are more abstract: They are associated with the colors of light that a particular kind of atom likes to emit or absorb. And this, by the way, is very much the same idea that Pythagoras was groping towards when he associated the movement of the planets with music of the spheres. Electrons do in fact go around the atomic nucleus much the same as planets go around the sun. We can think of atoms as musical instruments that produce a very real and very perfect music of the spheres.

@ DER SPIEGEL

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While we go on with our lives, beauty and artistic endeavor continue in the Universe.
It is up to us to look and perceive if we choose, most do not.

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About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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14 Responses to Artwork Saturday

  1. David B. Benson says:

    That was nice.

    Like

  2. Den says:

    A very wise man, wisdom is scarce these days.

    Like

  3. Den says:

    The profundity of idiocy holds no hope for survival, the Earth will not miss us.

    Like

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Another explosion in China.

    Like

  5. David B. Benson says:

    Through the thick haze for 25 minutes to Swilly’s. Lamb chops.

    Like

  6. David B. Benson says:

    Egad! The yellow VW was parked on B Street as I walked home.

    🙂

    Like

  7. David B. Benson says:

    Air so thick that the moon is pale orange.

    Like

  8. Den says:

    Posting tomorrows blog then off to LLamaLpaca land.

    Like

  9. º¿carol says:

    Wish I could post a photo in this box, like I can on Facebook. 😦

    Like

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