"Of the original phenomena, light is the most enthralling.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

Anchorage, Alaska, opening May 2010

String Theory II at the Imaginarium







Back in the heady days of the sixties and seventies, physicists made such rapid progress they thought they would soon find a Theory of Everything. By the early eighties, this search had produced String Theory, and around the same time by coincidence, I discovered something else wonderful about string.

Today, String Theory has evolved into many branches and is still in search of its holy grail, a Theory of Everything. It has received harsh criticism for failing to deliver, but remains the dominant ways of thinking in theoretical physics. For physicists, the challenge is to unravel the almost infinite number of ways higher dimensional strings can behave.




The string in this exhibit is different from fundamental or Superstring. It shows complex behavior - both chaotic and harmonic - within our familiar three spatial dimensions. This is something physicists had not anticipated, as their idealized Superstrings are assumed to vibrate harmonically, like the strings of a musical instrument. I am intrigued by what would happen if such complex behavior were included in String Theory.




The sculpture is twenty feet tall. The 'salad bowl' is six feet in diameter and the rim is six feet from the ground.