By Terry Poulos, Scientiquity founder and polymath artist
[CHICAGO, IL USA; 10/16/2021] Mother nature spinning geometry.
The mechanistic universe was how the ancient Greek atomists and astronomers viewed the world. This paradigm lasted all the way through Galileo and Newton – Mother Nature as a giant geared machine. Galileo looked to the heavens and witnessed the near-perfect regularity of planetary orbits. Newton thought time and space to be constant and fixed. It all seemed so predictable, machine-like.
Along came the 20th century advent of General Relativity, quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. Ever since, modern physicists have been attempting to debunk the mechanized universe theory (with a great deal of success, we should add). They view nature as a continuous, non-local phenomenon that does not always operate in terms of geared teeth (bits) or discreet media.
Furthermore, modern science also no longer fully accepts that the quantum realm holds any discernible cause and effect, opposed to the rotating gear moving an adjacent gear in clear temporal sequence, or Earth’s regular rotation and seasonal orbit about the Sun.
Non-locality and atemporal sequence are philosophical puzzles that vexed Einstein to his dying day. He explained gravity as the pull of the curvature of space, yet how did it act upon objects at a distance? Does gravity have its own “graviton” particle? Or energy wave? We still don’t have the answer. But Einstein held that all things could be explained in terms of logical cause and effect, even if our instruments were not sensitive enough to unmask and comprehend these supposed hidden variables.
All that said, even quantum physics admits a dual particle/wave nature of all known particles. The famous 1801 double-slit experiment by Thomas Young showed that light acts simultaneously as both a particle (photon) and energy wave, spreading out through a process called diffraction. And it’s not even a quantum experiment. It’s a classical mechanics set-up, something that can be replicated by a layperson in their own home, let alone a laboratory setting.
Recall also, Newton’s F=MA and Einstein’s e=mc² equations showing an equivalence between force, energy, mass, and acceleration. The mass, or bit, does exist. But where, and when? Somewhere in the spectrum of “reality” resides at least some modicum or fraction of a discreet “thing,” or bit. A 1927 experiment confirmed the same particle/wave principle for electrons. The current consensus is all particles have at least one part bit and one part momentum vector.
The atomists were not entirely wrong, nor were they entirely accurate. But we must admit the “thing” amidst the “things” does exist on some level, lest we entirely dismiss all notions of materialism.
Today, Scientiquity hearkens back to Platonic Forms and the ancient atomists with the debut of a new fractal art painting titled “Geo Ma-china”© or geometric machine. The emphasis on Ma is intended as a double entendre invoking Mother Nature into the artistic equation.
On the left-hand side appears a semi-abstract rendering of a feminine-looking being, eyes peering out albeit somewhat obfuscated. In the body position of what would be her womb is a geared mechanism. Her arms are turning the gears and spinning off geometric fractals. As the sequence progresses, higher complexity emerges.
The painting uses primarily gallery glass paint, with some glitter glue, applied on an acrylic surface. This allows a rear light source to penetrate through the acrylic. The dimensions are approximately the size of a standard wall poster.
The artist harbors hope that through art, we can fill in the blanks where equations and philosophy inevitably fall short. That we may further push the boundaries of knowledge and insight, and spark new ideas about nature and reality. And with a little luck, some day theoretical and applied scientists may run with said visualizations and take them in new directions heretofore unimagined, unrealized, and non-manifest.
Terry Poulos is a Chicago-area writer, archaeological historian, artist and geometer whose investigations focus primarily on physics, geometry and fractal topology, and Number Theory