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Summary
Book - Chapter 2

Summary

We have learned that the structure of matter is an evolving notion and that experimentation, observation, imagination and visualization, along with evolving ideas through discussion and testing, are important components in the understanding of our material universe.

We have discovered that valence electrons farthest from the nucleus are the electrons that are involved in current flow. We have also learned that electrons can be manipulated in wonderful and artistic ways and that artists and scientists have something to contribute to this ongoing dialogue both through visualization and modeling, as with Kenneth Snelson, and through material, formal, and process expressions, as with the artists Richard Harned, Sachiko Kodama + Minako Takeno, Mona Hatoum, and Takis Vassilakis with their process based installations.

Future

The new science of string theory is pushing the boundaries of physics and our known universe. Brian Greene and other physicists believe there will be a single theory to describe all the workings of the universe and explain how particles and the fundamental forces of nature will come together into one theory. The goal of this unification theory is to unify general relativity, which deals with gravitational forces on structures like planets and galaxies, with the other three fundamental forces, which deal with microscopic forces of quantum electrodynamics. This theory would unify the Newtonian, quantum electrodynamics, and general relativity into one unified theory of the celestial and terrestrial. String theory states that all matter is composed of small vibrating strands of energy composed of strings making up all the constituents of nature.

In the preface to The Elegant Universe a book by Brian Greene, he says, “By fearlessly taking on Science, and leveraging its intrinsic fascination to produce entertaining works of substance and drama, the arts may well be the perfect medium to fully integrate science into the world’s conversation. We may even find that the art world’s scientifically inspired works will provide new stimulus to the scientific imagination and, in some possibly intangible way, prepare us for the next step in understanding the universe.