Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Event 2 - Physics Lectures

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Art|Sci rendezvous hosted at CNSI. The rendezvous was to help artists and scientists exchange ideas. This time, I was really interested by the talks given by two physicists.

Video 1: Dr. Jofre's little motor
Ana Jofre gave a quick and brief introduction to magnetism. Ana got her Ph. D. in physics at U Toronto but she became an artist after that. Her work focused on the intersection of physics and art like cyborgs. To be honest, I was pretty familiar with the magnetism concepts she introduced because I learned that from Physics 1B as a south campus student. However, her live experiment pushed the talk to climax. She hand-made several sets of magnetic motors using batteries, magnets and copper wires. She demonstrated and passed the equipment to everyone. Everyone was fascinated by the simple yet elegant "toy". I was also excited and even shot a video of it.

Figure 2: Professor Vesna's proposal
Next, Professor Walter Gekelman talked about plasma and his lab. Plasma was also named "the fourth state of matter". As a plasma, the electrons in the matter were able to move freely and create wonderful visual effect. During the talk, Professor Vesna showed a proposal in which a plasma container was put above a fish tank. The design was inspired by Professor Gekelman's interest in golden fish.

Figure 3: Image of solar wind
Professor Gekelman also talked about the applications of plasma research. One of them was to predict the behavior of solar wind. Solar wind was plasma ejected from the surface the sun which could disable the telecommunication infrastructure on Earth. The study of such behavior could save us from the loss from the shutdown of such infrastructure.

One more thing! The wine was really great. DESMA talks were the only events reaching such a high standard in terms of the food and drink provided. Yay!

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