I attended the Nonlinear Perspectives art exhibition and following LASER talks with professor Walter Gekelman on May 19th. This was a two part event; the first hour being an art exhibition put on by the Art Science Undergraduate Society, and the next two being a series of talks and discussion.
Exhibition promotional material
The exhibition's theme was 'chaos and entropy'. I have a fairly minimal understanding of entropy based on my coursework, but it appeared that the artists' pieces were mainly centered around the general idea of chaos rather than the textbook thermodynamic definition of entropy. The artwork was very interesting, with a total of five or six separate pieces which each of the student artists said a few brief words on. I thought the coolest part of the exhibit was actually in the students' backgrounds - among them were biologists, mathematicians, and engineers alike, who also happened to be passionate about art.
Selfie at the beginning of the LASER talks
After hanging around the exhibition, we then moved to a different room for the LASER talks. We had a total of three presenters - the first was a former PhD in physics who decided to switch gears and focus on art. The second was an artist who drew inspiration from neuroscience and used oxytocin mixed in with paint for her pieces. The last was professor Walter Gekelman, a physicist who works with plasma in UCLA's Basic Plasma Science Facility. His talk was the most interesting for me, as he is clearly very deeply entrenched in the physics world, but also shows a distinct interest in art. The images drawn from his plasma research had a distinctly beautiful element to them:
3D magnetic fields generated from plasma collision
Image 1 - "NONLINEAR PERSPECTIVES + FOURTH STATE OF MATTER." Home Page. UCLA Art | Sci Center, n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.
Image 2 - Self taken
Image 3 - Gekelman, Walter. "Basic Plasma Science Facility at UCLA." BaPSF. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.
Moore, Nathaniel B., Walter Gekelman, and Patrick Pribyl. "Ion Energy Distribution Function Measurements by Laser-induced Fluorescence in a Dual Radio Frequency Sheath." Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 34.2 (2016): 021303. Web.
Gekelman, Walter, Patrick Pribyl, Henry Birge-Lee, Joe Wise, Cami Katz, Ben Wolman, Bob Baker, Ken Marmie, Vedang Patankar, Gabriel Bridges, Samuel Buckley-Bonanno, Susan Buckley, Andrew Ge, and Sam Thomas. "Drift Waves and Chaos in a LAPTAG Plasma Physics Experiment." Am. J. Phys. American Journal of Physics 84.2 (2016): 118-26. Web.
Niemann, C., W. Gekelman, C. G. Constantin, E. T. Everson, D. B. Schaeffer, A. S. Bondarenko, S. E. Clark, D. Winske, S. Vincena, B. Van Compernolle, and P. Pribyl. "Observation of Collisionless Shocks in a Large Current-free Laboratory Plasma." Geophys. Res. Lett. Geophysical Research Letters 41.21 (2014): 7413-418. Web.
"Home Page." Home Page. UCLA Art | Sci Center, n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.
"Art Science Undergraduate Society." Home Page. UCLA Art | Sci Center, n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.