pedagogy and education in art/science/technology 2

entertaining and increadibly informative at the same, the mini-lectures by Ben Schumacher andStephen Morris, respectively a physicist specialized in quantum physics and a physicist specialized in patterns formations in fluid represented what I would have loved to see in a science professor but didn’t and ended up in literature. through jokes, funny though accurate images and clear language, Schumacher used Alice in Wonderland phrase that she  ” always believed as many as six  impossible things before breakfast” as a starting point for his own version of six impossible things that science fiction writers have imagined but cannot be realized if we follow the laws of quantum physics.

With a similar exhuberance and accessible language, Stephen Morris introduced his current research based on three major macrophenomena in physics: Columnar Joints, Washboard road, rippling instability of icicles. what made his research most accessible were the devices and the experiments he conducted in order to recreate the phenomenon in his lab: a machine that creates icicles through rotation, a machine that creates ripples similar to the one formed on the roads during winter and a recreation of the formation of columnar joints obtained with Corn starch. it is the simple materials and the rather unpretentious machines he built in his labs with his students that showed the tight connection of his work with –almost–everyday very visible phenomena. his experiments have been video-documented and thus visible on his youtube channel