Ongoing scientific findings are advancing our understanding of the universe and origins of our existence. At PCH INNOVATIONS, we believe art is the ideal tool for elucidating complex and crucial science. With this purpose, we are introducing [project ͻ:mεga].
The first key scientific phenomenon we‘ve chosen to explore through this project is string theory, the most actively studied candidate to explain everything we can observe, from everyday forces of gravity to nearly invisible quantum phenomena. This holistic field of investigation is known as quantum gravity. String theory descends from the ordinary models of particle physics, but marks a crucial difference in that its basic constituents are not point-like particles, but rather 1-dimensional objects called strings. And unlike point particles, strings can oscillate in intricate patterns, allowing for wildly dynamic variation.
For [project ͻ:mεga] Edition Ω I, we visualized the scientific research corresponding to string theory’s complex aspect of multi-dimensions through a mathematical construct describing parts of nature too small to see with the human eye, called ‘Calabi-Yau’. We then animated a 10-dimensional model of the construct’s intricate, yet minimalist aesthetic within a true 3D holographic projection, integrating stereoscopic technology as its heart to produce a unique, experiential artifact.
CELEBRATING SCIENCE - AN ENLIGHTENING INTERCHANGE BETWEEN ART & SCIENCE
We read and hear stories about mysterious phenomena and corresponding complex theories. We are familiar with terms like the Big Bang, E=mc2, black holes, and the God Particle. but most of us struggle to understand these topics and their scientific, philosophical, ethical or even spiritual relevance.
In our daily work and attitude at PCH INNOVATIONS, we invite the challenge to understand and decode the complexity of crucial topics through a collaborative effort between our own (limited) competences and our partnering scientists and pioneers from a variety of disciplines.
We believe that everyone should be empowered by the opportunity to understand and engage current scientific achievements. It is our right to be involved in the progress that shapes how we live together as an evolving society. Artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, digital manufacturing, nano-materials, synthetic biology, cosmology, quantum physics and many other exponentially growing technologies and scientific advancements will enable us to make greater progress in the next 10 to 20 years than we have made in the previous 200 years.
PROLOG – OMEGA POINT
The Omega Point is defined as the supreme point of complexity and consciousness, the point toward which the universe and humanity will reach the next critical phase of evolution. This idea first appeared as a hypothesis by the French philosopher and Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955).
Some scientists argue that the accelerating pace of progress inherent in Moore’s law will, in the relatively near future, lead to technological singularity and the next level of evolutionary synthesis. At PCH INNOVATIONS, we are driven to live by the lead of this transformative curve.
For [project ͻ:mεga], Edition Ω I we wanted to understand one of the key building blocks of our evolution and reality, rooted in the deepest histories of science and philosophy. Understanding reality means achieving a theoretical framework that justifies every observation. These observations occur at the very small, such as what happens inside an atom, as well as at the very large, like with the motions of galaxies. Large-scale phenomena are correctly explained and predicted by Newton’s theory of universal gravitation, which was then completed by Einstein’s theory of relativity, released in 1905 to demonstrate that dimensions of space and time are interwoven into a single continuum called space-time.
With Einstein’s theory, we can already explain a lot, such as how our universe is expanding and even how black holes are formed. But if we want to truly understand reality, we must incorporate all measures of natural phenomena. To understand anything, it’s important to start at the beginning. Let’s look back to the Big Bang.
We can only speculate at the conditions which sparked that great beginning. What we do know is that our universe, at a fraction of a fraction of a nano-second after the Big Bang, was smaller than an atom. That is why understanding the very small is so crucial.
Laws of gravity and relativity can no longer explain all of what we observe. Instead, quantum laws fill in the missing pieces. Quantum theory explains all the behavior of entities inside atoms.
Beyond the existing findings from the theory of relativity, laws of universal gravitation and quantum theory, we are still in need of the so-called theory of everything, which is supposed to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe: How gravity and quantum physics fit together. A theory that proves how everything in the universe is composed is what scientists so far call string theory, which we have placed at the center of the Ω I Artifact.
SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND – String Theory
String theory has the potential to prove the fundamental nature of our existence. The corresponding research (as at CERN) is progressing well, but evidence for this unifying proof is still unknown. As soon as the global science community can deliver evidence for and successful simulation of its existence, string theory will continue to spark our imaginations and investigations at its practical importance.
No one knows where a scientific theory will lead until that theory has been fully developed and tested. History supports that this new theory will certainly lead somewhere profound. String theory is the next step in our growing understanding of the universe, and already provides potential avenues toward a deeper understanding of parallel universes, extra space-time dimensions, and discovering new fundamental symmetries and patterns of nature.
The potential of string theory is vast, and will provide answers to the following questions:
Is reality, the universe and humankind composed of vibrating filaments (‘strings’) and membranes (‘branes‘) of energy?
Are we only observing one side of a deeper symmetry, a so called super-symmetry that could explain dark energy and why our universe is expanding?
Could several extra (ordinarily non-observable) dimensions to the universe exist? Or even parallel universes?
Might string theory even lead humanity to a new anthropic principle, which states that a key purpose of our human existence is simply to explain certain physical properties of our universe?
Does the logic of how information in a space relate to information on the surface of that space follow the holographic principle?
Calabi-Yau – THE SCALE OF MATTER
An atom consists of a nucleus with electrons spinning around. Inside that nucleus, some protons and neutrons coexist. For a long time, we thought that those were the smallest entities, until we discovered some more fundamental particles inside protons and neutrons, like quarks and leptons.
The latest piece of the puzzle of fundamental building blocks is the Higgs boson (also known as the God Particle), discovered in 1964 and confirmed in 2012 at the LHC in Geneva. As a whole, 17 fundamental entities exist, confirmed by mathematics as well as experimentations. That’s only so far.
Calabi-Yau – TOWARDS A THEORY OF EVERYTHING
The central challenge for science now is to connect quantum laws with laws of gravity, to provide one theory of everything that can justify all observations at all scales. String theory is our most advanced candidate to achieve that connection, promising nothing less than a complete unified description of all forces and matter, revealing all of nature in a harmonious and manifold composition of oscillating strings.
Implications of such discovery would not be limited to the scientific community, but would provide unimaginable insights on reality for us all.
What string theory adds to quantum explanation is a new model for elemental entities, revealed not as single point-like particles, but rather filaments of energy, like strings.
The way these strings vibrate and their corresponding frequencies create different particle properties, like how a violin or guitar can create various musical notes within a fixed number of chords. The properties of particles yield the data we detect in experiments.
CALABI-YAU – Compactifictaion
To achieve mathematical and physical consistency, this string model requires more than the traditional 4 dimensions we perceive (3D of space, 1D of time). String theory postulates the possibility of 10 space-time dimensions. This pushes on our limit of understanding.
Since we are programmed to frame everything within 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time, the idea of 6 more dimensions is difficult to accept.
While we cannot yet experience all 10 dimensions, we can still represent their possibility through our 4-dimensional framework.
This process is called ‘compactification’. We’re already familiar with the concept of ‘compactification’, exemplified by a map as a ‘2D-compactification’ of a world globe, which is 3D.
Calabi-Yau – MANIFOLD
The Ω I Artifact showcases the Calabi-Yau ‘compactification’ of a 10-dimensional reality perceived through our 4-dimensional environment. Thousands of possible Calabi-Yau models can express the same central truth. The scope of variation and symmetry within string theory is astounding.
The Calabi-Yau in our Ω I Artifact visualizes how the six another imperceptible dimensions included in string theory can be folded into one.
When the Calabi-Yau folds to its maximum, its symmetry is revealed, and we experience a scientific perplexity through a captivating aesthetic. We become aware of 5 bows on each of the Calabi-Yau’s sides. These 5 bows, along with the bow of symmetry and in addition to time, represent our 4-dimensional perception of the 10 possible dimensions enumerated by string theory.
View of the surface obtained by projecting from 4D to 3D using the dimensional interpolation for different values of N, where N is the level of compactification.
There is a simple reason why we have not yet experienced all 10 dimensions: Either they are intricately folded into each other, or we live in what is called a ‘D3-brane’ (the word ‘brane’ comes from the word ‘membrane’, which refers to a 2-dimensional plane), a 3-dimensional space embedded into a higher-dimensional space, just like the 2-dimensional plane of a tabletop in a 3-dimensional dining room.
By looking into the ultimate small degree of 10 ̄33 cm, we can decode how multiple dimensions exist and how they impact fundamental strings of energy. Through such investigation, we hope to drastically expand our knowledge on the origins of our universe, and possibilities for our future.
Implications are not only theoretical. String theory could offer the ultimate design tool to master matter. Most importantly, this exploration of nature’s complexity is a path toward a higher human capability of conceptualization.
By looking beyond our spatial and temporal capacities, we break open our cognitive limitations and forge bold new perspectives.
We at PCH INNOVATIONS are devoted to accessing those perspectives as a means for achieving elaborate new possibilities for how we live.
Ω I Artifact
For Ω I, we translated the multi-dimensional aspect of string theory – revealed through a mathematical construction called the ‘Calabi-Yau’ – into a unique, experiential artifact. We animated a 10-dimensional model of this intricate yet minimalist aesthetic, and integrated it into a true 3D holographic projection, with a stereoscopic display as its heart.
The Ω1 Artifact showcases the geometric compactification of a 10-dimensional reality perceived through our 4-dimensional (3 dimensions plus time) environment through a moving Calabi Yau projection.
With the ‘Ω I Artifact‘, our goal is to fascinate a diverse audience through an inspiring presence that draws an understanding of science at its core, generating multiple layers of meaning.
The aesthetic interpretation of complex scientific phenomena – whether DNA molecules, the brain, or our ‘Ω I Calabi-Yau’ – must convey universal truth and beauty, which are everlasting.
We are not concerned with ideas of beauty that are fashionable today and outdated tomorrow. The things that we consider beautiful in our time, we believe will be beautiful for all eternity. Truth and beauty are in constant exchange.
The laws that describe nature somehow have a sense of inevitability about them. There are very few scientific principles, and there's no other possible way those principles can work once we understand them. They exist as profoundly distinct truths, and express what we mean when we talk about beauty.
We want to say thanks to our collaborative pioneers, who challenged and propelled our thoughts, understandings and ideas for our [project ͻ:mεga] with their work:
We will never know whether we should thank Newton’s apple or his equations, but we are forever grateful for how he transformed mathematics as the ultimate revealer of reality.
This quest for framing not only reality, but realities, made a quantum leap thanks to Einstein. Man, you were right. God does not play dice. Actually, now we know that God plays and does not play all at once.
Thanks to Schrödinger and Planck for further revolutionary thinking. Wait, will Brian Greene finally prove that God plays guitar instead?
No one knows, not even Higgs who saw beyond what the most powerful nano-scopes can ever detect. Yes, your particle truly does exist, and at such a small degree that impacts the macroscopic, proven thanks to the CERN crew that cooked up something tasty in the mass region of around 126 gigaelectronvolts. And it’s so small.
Thanks to artist-o-physicians like Ben Moore, we can now hear the universe, and simu- late its ultimate directions. What a great experience in your lab.
Finally, Paolo Soleri and Andrew J. Hanson, you inspired us to reveal science as pure beauty.
And to so many others, thanks for the endless inspiration. Thanks.
Elert G. (2010), ‘The Physics Hypertextbook’, physics.info, available under: The Physics Hypertextbook
Green, M., Schwarz. J.H., Witten, E. (1987), Superstring theory, ‘Loop amplitudes, anomalies and phenomeno- logy’, Cambridge University Press. Vol. 2, available under: Superstring Theory
Greene, B. (1999), ‘The Elegant Universe’, Random House, available under: The Elegant Universe
Gribbin, J. (1984), ‘In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality’, Bantam books, available under: In Search of Schrödinger's Cat
Harvey, J., Kraus, P., Larsen, F., Martinec, E. (2000), ‘D-Branes and Strings as Non-commutative Solitons’, available under: D-branes and Strings as Non-commutative Solitons
Hawking, S. (1989), ‘A Brief History of Time’, Random House, available under: A Brief History of Time
Jurke, B. (2012), ‘String Theroy a theory of Quantum Gravity’, available under: String Theroy a theory of Quantum Gravity
Kort, B. (2013), ‘Our place in the cosmos and the role of stem in the advance of civilization’, available under: OUR PLACE IN THE COSMOS AND THE ROLE OF STEM IN THE ADVANCE OF CIVILIZATION
Sutton, J. Particles 01: The Higgs boson, available under: Particles 01: The Higgs Boson
Udacity, Intro into Physics, The Higgs Boson – A Very Simple Explanation, available under: Intro into Physics, The Higgs Boson – A Very Simple Explanatio
© 2015 PCH INNOVATIONS GMBH
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© 2015 PCH INNOVATIONS The programing code of [project ͻ:mεga], created and used by PCH INNOVATIONS GMBH, can be modified, distributed and used for derivative works under the terms of the work's copyleft license/freedom 3.