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Hadron decay 01 May 25, 2007

Posted by dorigo in Art, personal, physics, social life.

Yesterday I visited Vincent and Jadwiga, two old friends of mine who live in a very nice flat on top of a tall building facing the shore of north Chicago.  Vincent is a retired physician and he has a wonderful collection of ancient central-american sculptures , dating a thousand to two thousand years ago. But he also likes to sculpt himself, and I really like what he does.

During my visit, he gave me the opportunity to experiment with clay. He had asked me to come prepared, to draw some sketches beforehand. I had something in a piece of paper and he liked my idea, so he gave me his tools and watched me while I molded the clay, giving me only sparse important advices on techincal issues.

Below you can see my first creation, which I called “Hadron Decay 01”. I must say I loved to play with that wonderful material, and I look forward to doing more of it with my children in the future…


Below is another view of the same piece:



1. Fred - May 25, 2007

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Our suspicions have finally been confirmed. You are a goat worshipping satanist with alien tendencies to disuade us from universal string theories permeating intangible dimensions. You won’t get away with it but my mind is telling me to make a formal bid of $6.66 U.S. anyway for some strange reason. What is the logic of your piece concerning hadron decay? What were the more difficult aspects of working with this type of clay? Which artists appealed to you as a youngster? You forgot to list art in your category for this post. Ancora delle arti.

2. dorigo - May 25, 2007

And Fred, 6.66 USD will not even pay for the clay 🙂
I tried to picture a c quark, a lighter quark, and a lepton as spheres, and the neutrino as a spike with no dimension. The quarks are bound by strong force, which manifest as gluons, the wavy stuff flowing from one to the other. The b has just decayed into a charm, a lepton, and a neutrino, the latter two from a virtual W, which is like a sheet of weak interaction connecting these with the hadron.
Working with the clay that Vincent provided was wonderful. It is soft, but will stay where you put it. You can shape it any way you want and smooth it with a bit of water.
The question about the artist is immediate to answer. I have always loved Henry Moore, from the age of 16 when I visited the Tate gallery in London with my father. He is a fantastic sculptor, and I love most anything he did.
Thanks for the mention of the category, I will correct that pronto!

3. Fred - May 26, 2007

Thanks T.
I can actually start visualizing your description while looking at the work. You may have stumbled onto something to get young people interested in physics while having a blast at expressing their own interpretations. The art department would love it as their annual budget would have to be increased to accommodate the kids who can’t quite grasp the significance of 3D images floating on their monitors. For instance, an event produced at Tevatron could be displayed by a sequential series of sculptures. Let the kids add some paint or other objects such as glass, etc. before or after the fireing of the pieces, maybe glaze them up or not, and voila. The art could then be sold to supplement the projects, thereby introducing the students to the stark world of finances and it’s consequences. We might be surprised as to how many collisions would appear like snails, turtles, and snakes.

4. dorigo - May 27, 2007

Fred, 3-d imaging of decay would be cool. I think we have ways to do it with computer graphics – if we allow for some inaccuracy in the description of the physics. Sculpture though is complicated because one is more interested in the aesthetic result… And the physics is bent to homage beauty. I am sure Art departments would love it… Maybe somebody could give them a hint.


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