Particle physics art

Colorado College to Present an Evening of Art, Music and Poetry Inspired by Math and Physics |

On the wings of a butterfly can come great changes.

In the early 1970s mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz made famous the butterfly effect, an aspect of chaos theory in which he said it was possible that a butterfly could spread and flip its wings to the Brazil and create a chain of events resulting in a tornado in Texas. .

That seemed like a good description of the pandemic for Colorado College music professor Ofer Ben-Amots.

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“Maybe a few people got sick, maybe in China, and they infected a few others, so just a little here and there, and that caused this crisis, this pandemic all over the world, and we there are always faced. ,” he said. “The effect is like that. It starts small, but in the end it’s really chaos.

Just before the start of the pandemic, CC hosted a guest mathematician pianist from Spain who suggested Ben-Amots write a piece of music combining math and music. He accepts the challenge and composes an 11-minute contemporary classic piece mixing the butterfly effect with the Fibonacci number sequence, named after the Italian mathematician Fibonacci, in which each number is the sum of the two previous ones. The higher the numbers, the closer to the golden ratio, which can be found in the natural world.

“When you look at the rose petals on a flower, they are arranged with the golden ratio, or look at the leaves of a tree and the proportions of a tree. They are all based on the Fibonacci series,” said Ben-Amots said, “There’s the element of chaos, although it’s not exact. It’s related to the butterfly effect.”

During “The Butterfly Effect”, a free interdisciplinary event at the CC, faculty, students and special guests will use the two concepts of mathematics and physics as a springboard for visual arts, music, poetry, written works and more. It’s Thursday at Packard Hall. Participants must wear a KN95 or similar filtration mask.

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Presenters include pianist Susan Grace, Associate President, Artist-in-Residence and Music Lecturer at CC, performing the US premiere of Ben-Amots’s piece, “The Butterfly Effect”; physics professor CC Shane Burns, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, talking about the physics of the effect; Surbhi Bhutani, a computer science student, talks about mathematics; Ben-Amots’ son, Zach Ben-Amots, reading his poem “Chaos”; and Karen Mosbacher, a visual artist, who will create a painting on stage as the music plays.

“People will be able to connect emotionally and intellectually, and maybe even challenge each other,” Ofer said. “It will be an intellectual, artistic and emotional evening. We mix the arts with the sciences. It doesn’t happen often. »

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270