Short update this week!
Mark sent along data and visualizations that will act as raw materials for some series of multi-media art. Here is an example of what he sent in visual form:
I just want to peel back those layers and see what’s in there! The x-axis shows position as a number line, and the y-axis shows velocity.
Here is an instructive diagram of a phase portrait from a quick image search:
(For example, an idealized pendulum that swings evenly without dampening. Negative velocity is a counter-intuitive thing, but it just means velocity in the opposite direction of whatever is defined as the positive direction.)
The data that Mark sent is just the thing I was looking for, so I will be getting more info from him in our next video chat about what exactly we are looking at, since the graphs are not labeled, and I’m still a bit unfamiliar with the data! It is likely that I will download a free visualization program called ParaView that Mark used for the above images. My partner and fiance Craig Hamel, a G.R.A. at Georgia Tech, is graciously teaching me aspects of Python so I can more easily navigate the data. In the past, I have taken image “slices” from data sets, for example, just one of the colored lines in the graphs above, and projected them onto surfaces to be traced as either a standalone 2D image or a slice of a 3D object to be cut out and assembled. I will use with the same technique, which draws a connecting line for the viewer to enter the world of STEM through familiar materials such as charcoal on paper or cut plywood, something “analogue” vs. digital. I will also work in the medium of printmaking, which has its own material implications of the recording, copying, and passage of information, that can add layers of meaning to works about and comprised of data describing the early universe.
Mark and I are still working out our tetrahedral collapse toy model! Here is a sketch I made in anticipation of creating multiple pieces to connect together:
In theory, twisting one blue tetrahedron would cause all other blue tetrahedra to rotate in correlation.
I have postponed my update on “Order in Space” until next time, but I will leave you with this quote: “The growth in understanding of spatial order seems to follow closely man’s own evolution as a conscious being. First as a tool of orientation, the ‘where’ of things, and eventually becoming the ‘how’ inherent in things.” (Critchlow, 3)
Critchlow, Keith. Order in Space: A Design Source Book. London: Thames & Hudson, 1969.
I have a few cool things to report:
1. An article I wrote is now published, in the current issue #122 of the origami magazine The Paper. (see below). There's a lot of stuff in those two pages, and fellow SciArt Resident Ben Andrew happened to have taken the picture there!
2. I've updated a simulation shown in Fig. 2 of that article, and made the following video (see below). This shows a "pentagonal Cairo tessellation" of voids, with galaxies residing at each vertex. As time passes in the video, the galaxies form, together with filaments between them. The left panel shows the “crease pattern,” showing matter at its initial location on the cosmological sheet, before folding up. If the sheet were placed on a table and folded like paper origami, blue regions would end up face-up, and red regions face-down. Borders between red and blue regions are the creases. The right panels show the “folded form,” rendered as though backlit. In light regions, the sheet has stretched out, allowing a lot of light through. Dark regions are high-density (with a lot of the sheet in a small area), with multiple layers overlapping." The rightmost panels are close-ups of the three-filament and four-filament galaxies.
3. I have a rough prototype of a "tetrahedral void" model that I've discussed in previous blog posts, made from 3D-printed pieces (see below). I'm using rubber bands to attaching the "galaxies" to each other, holding them to onto the central void tetrahedron (giving it "tensegrity", a word Lizzy taught me -- I hope I'm using it right!). The main point of this model was that neighboring galaxies would tend to spin together on it, but this doesn't happen particularly impressively, for a few reasons, such as too-tight rubber bands, and that alternative attachment arrangements would better encourage this behavior (requiring different-sized rubber bands, unfortunately). It may not work as originally conceived, but it is still helping me figure out how the predictions of the model should work! And I think a nice piece of tactile art should be able to come out of it.
4. Lizzy mentioned the book Order in Space by Kieth Critchlow; this happened to feature a concentric-tetrahedron shape similar to my "tetrahedral void" model. Looking that book up, I saw another book by him, Islamic Patterns: an analytical and cosmological approach. The word "cosmological" definitely drew my eye! Luckily, my university library does carry the book, and I checked it out. Although here "cosmological" refers to a spiritual worldview -- there are many numerological aspects of Platonic solids and planar tessellations as they are applied in Islamic art that I had no idea about! Honestly, there seems to be little to no relationship of these patterns to the modern science of cosmology, though ... the book features some patterns in a similar vein as the "Cairo pentagonal tessellation" underlying the arrangement of voids in the video in this post, but this arrangement is very idealized; we would not expect this exact kind of pattern to arise in nature! But the inner structure of the forming galaxies is nonetheless much more regular than many cosmologists assume it is, which probably carries over to some degree in reality.
That's all for this week ...
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Lizzy Storm is an artist and owner of Lizzy Storm Designs based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mark Neyrinck is an award-winning astrophysicist and cosmologist, and a postdoctoral researcher at Durham University, United Kingdom.