• UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Mentor a STEM intern this summer https://t.co/efvOXzX8ot #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    50 min 20 sec ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    'Into the Beautiful North' discussion on March 2 https://t.co/ZngcgQCGsG #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    50 min 20 sec ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Beauty and the Bizarre: Hummingbirds, Bees, Bats and Zombie Parasites https://t.co/gdEIBSIXDA
    1 hour 56 min ago
  • AS_UCSB twitter avatar
    Get Cozy with AS. Join us for our winter recruitment fair and interact with active AS. members. Today 6-8pm Loma Pe… https://t.co/FJeNqZxZJ1
    2 hours 53 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Grammy Award-winning octet @roomfulofteeth brings its singing traditions to Hahn Hall on Wednesday, Apr 26 at 7PM!… https://t.co/IrhE1Thez3
    4 hours 16 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Join @BanffMtnFest on a thrilling journey through exotic mountains, tonight at 7:30PM at the Arlington Theatre!… https://t.co/FJSBWoI4Tq
    5 hours 26 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSB_Baseball falls 4-1 to St. Mary's in first home midweek. Gauchos fly to Kentucky for 3 this weekend. RECAP >>… https://t.co/i8gnZk9Lw9
    18 hours 19 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos Close Strong to Finish 6th at Del Walker Intercollegiate https://t.co/dPC0rlkFEG
    18 hours 23 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Winners of 2 Out of Last 3, Gauchos Head to Fullerton Thursday https://t.co/UtRgwenJ63
    19 hours 22 min ago
  • UCSBLibrary twitter avatar
    A moving collection- portraits of African American men & women from late 19th c. Available: https://t.co/RYyjXELvEw… https://t.co/n6YyPpcWTy
    20 hours 12 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Get your @BanffMtnFest preview via @SBIndpndnt. #BanffIsBack #Banff https://t.co/JkmcxFaG9w
    21 hours 13 min ago

The Art of Physics

Students in the College of Creative Studies demonstrate their understanding of the Universe's underpinnings in a final exam/art show
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 13:45
Santa Barbara, CA

It looks like a typical art exhibition, with a gallery reception, conversation, food, and even a little music and dance. But for the students in physicist Jatila van der Veen’s, “Symmetry and Aesthetics in Contemporary Physics” course, it was a final exam.

Want to know about the Fibonacci sequence? Check out the spinning artichoke. Interested in the exchange of symmetry and asymmetry in movement? Look at Argentine Tango. A single pendulum might be the essence of symmetric aesthetics, but watch a double pendulum carve out a chaotic two-dimensional path of light and the result is hypnotic, not to mention a depiction of the Universe at its origin.

Using art as a lens through which to view the fundamentals of physics, the College of Creative Studies’ (CCS) students demonstrated their learning by drawing, dancing, painting, photographing and constructing works in various mediums, then showing their art. As their final exam, they were required to stand by their work during the reception and explain their chosen concept.

The show is part of van der Veen’s NASA-funded course that incorporates art and alternative methods to teach physics to undergrads. Not only does it use explorations in various media, it also begins with lessons in symmetry and theoretical physics, as opposed to introductions into Newtonian physics.

“It’s a bit more appealing, more interesting, and more difficult,” van der Veen, who is also a CCS lecturer, said. However, she added, the topics are also more relatable. The development of her course, which she has been teaching for eight years, involved the input of several experts, including David Gross, UCSB Nobel Laureate in Physics (2004); Jean-Pierre Hebert, artist-in-residence at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics; Christopher Hill, theoretical physicist at Fermilab, and other notable theorists.

The art show/final exam will continue at the gallery at the College of Creative Studies through Thursday, March 19, 2015.


Contact Info: 

Sonia Fernandez
(805) 893-4765