Gallery Talk: Abigail Polin and Victoria Xu: Relativity and Quantum Mechanics Made Simple
The theory of relativity and quantum mechanics are among the scientific developments that inform some of the key artwork on view in Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein. Gain a better understanding of these basics of modern physics and their influence on the artists of the day with this lively and accessible explanation presented by two UC Berkeley graduate-student physicists.
Abigail Polin, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Physics and Astronomy at UC Berkeley, specializes in computational astrophysics. She discusses the theory of relativity and how Einstein transformed the fields of physics and astronomy in the early twentieth century.
Victoria Xu uses atoms, laser-cooled to show quantum behavior, as tiny probes to sense and search for new physics in the most minute of measurements. She discusses how scientists in the early 1900s, seeking to understand nature in the microscopic limit, came to provocative conclusions about the basic rules of nature, ultimately enabling the development of technologies—from the personal computer to the laser—that have had a profound impact on modern life and thought.