Can an incomprehensible phenomenon be made tangible - and change our scientific and artistic perception of the world?
#makingtheinvisiblevisible #particledrifting #space-time #quantum-gravity #WIMPs #dematerialziation #cosmicrays
In 2018, researchers solved a puzzle of the century in their attempts to find out more about the origin of cosmic rays: they were able to identify a source of high-energy neutrinos, so-called ghost particles, which crackdown on our earth's surface from the depths of space in billions of billions every second. From a distant galaxy with a huge black hole in the center, these "fellow travelers" of cosmic rays reach us. They have almost no mass and hardly interact with their environment - but they can tell us a lot about the cosmos.
Luca Pozzi's bronze sculpture from the series "The Dragon's Eggs" is a monument to such extra-worldly visitors. The sculpture shows a tennis ball flying from space to earth at high speed, which was stopped in motion shortly before its impact - and thus becomes visible in its brilliant distortion. Created in collaboration with the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), "Dragon's Egg" is equipped with scintillators capable of detecting the passage of otherwise invisible subatomic particles, such as muons, in the sculpture and signaling them with a light pulse. The sculpture thus combines a 5,500-year-old cultural technique - bronze casting - with a technology from experimental physics that makes the passage of invisible, subatomic particles visible to the human eye. A simple light pulse connects the viewer with the foothills of a gigantic cosmic spectacle that may have taken place thousands of light years away. Acting as a time compression parenthesis, the sculpture alludes to maximum dematerialization, to quantum entanglement, to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, to the energy limit of the Planck Scale, to the discretion of neutrinos and future possibilities of quantum computing. It’s a “WIMP”, literally “good for nothing”, but in scientific jargon, it represents the acronym of Weakly Interacting Massive Particle. “Dragon’s Egg” is first of all, a communicator in which complex systems collide, subliminally speaking of gravitational waves, dark matter, and multi-messenger cosmology.
The project is realized in cooperation with Fraunhofer Headquarter Communication and is supported by the Fraunhofer-Network Wissenschaft, Kunst und Design.