In Winter 2008, the course "Modern Physics" was offered at OCAD by Faculty of Liberal Studies Instructor Robin Kingsburgh for the first time. In this course, the world of physics was explored, emphasizing physical observations and visualizations of nature, from the realm of the human scale, through microscopic and macroscopic scales. The course examined topics in modern physics including cosmology, relativity and quantum mechanics (without math!), along with their historical contexts. Particular emphasis was placed on the role of visualization in science, and inter-relations between science and art. As part of the course, an assignment was geared towards participating in Subtle Technologies, with the theme of Light.
For the assignment, students had to research a scientific phenomenon involving light. Possible topics included iridescence, wave-particle duality, making the invisible visible (i.e. visualizing parts of the electromagnetic spectrum outside of visible wavelengths) and exploring various optical phenomena like refraction, reflection, polarization and scattering. The students were instructed to research the topic and write a 6-page essay. Following the research they were instructed to create an art piece involving this phenomenon, either literally or metaphorically, as a response to the scientific knowledge they had accumulated during the research process.
These students' works will be on display at the Subtle Technologies Festival of Science & Art, May 29 to June 1 at Innis College, University of Toronto.