Dear visitors, we welcome you at the opening function of the exhibition "Equations that shaped our world" in the Gallery of Scientific Wonders. I like to introduce our distinguished guests - you see them in front of the art works, and the art works themselves, with a short explantion of their meanings.
At the left hand side we see Pythagoras, talking to Fibonacci and Leonardo da Vinci (both wearing hats). Pythagoras might be telling his famous statement that "the world consists of three kinds of people: those who can count, and those who can't....", because it is not likely that he needs to explain his famous algorythm of rectangular triangles to his distinguished confreres. Fibonacci and Leonardo share the love for the Golden Section... Fibonacci of Pisa worked out the details, and 4 centuries later Ldeonardo used it in creating the most famous painting ever, the Mona Lisa. The golden section is not only essential in science and art, but is present everywhere in nature, like in the patters of flowers and shells.
The next two guests both have curly hair. Newton explains to the first famous female mathematician Emily de Chatelet, who, by the way, was married to Voltaire, that he got the inspiratioon to describe gravity when he sat under a tree and saw an apple falling.... that tree is depicted, and is still surviving: in May 2010 a twig of that tree was taken to the space station Atlantis in honour of Newton. The sixth person we meet is Leonhard Euler, the most prolific and probably most famous mathematician of all ages... and the most prolific: he wrote over 1,000 pages of publications each year, during more than 40 years, only on maths. Even nowadays publishers are still in the process of getting all his work published! The depicted formula, called 'Euler's identity', has received as much appreciation in the world of science, as the mona Lisa has in the world of art. Very special is the letter 'i' in the equation, meaning the square root of -1. We all know that this can't exist, but Euler proved its very existance in this equation. The American mathematician Price said: "We cannot understand it, we don?t know whaT It means, but we have proved it and we know it must be true". The circle in the painting is a graphic representation of a crop circle found in England in 2010.... analysis showed that the short lines can be translated into computer letters (ASCI code) and then translates into.... Euler's Identity!
We jump into the 19th century with Maxwell, and early into the 20th with Einstein. Maxwell described 'electro magnetism' in four formulas, including the one depicted in the painting. But Maxwell did more than that: he also took, in 1871, the first colour photo in the world (after inventing the technique), and that is the one shown in the painting. He used only red, green and blue to take the picture, and it worked remakably well: this picture is called 'Tartan Ribbon'.
Einstein would never have achieved his great achievements without many predecessors, including Maxwell. General theory of relativity states that time and space are not absolute, as they change with speed, especially high speeds. The picture, with a very mixed up three dimensional world, was taken in the Einstein Museum in Bern (Switzerland). The other Einstein painting celebrates E=mc2, the most famous equation in the world, and also the least understood. The two visitors in front of it - they are not famous at all (also ordinary people are welcome in the exhibition, like the artist and his partner - these two visitors probably wonder as well what it exactly means. They probably just like the painting, and that is okay. Nevertheless: energy equals mass times the square of the speed of light. Mass can become energy, and energy can turn into mass....
"God does not play dice", said Einstein when he tried to explain the major problem of quantum mechanics. But he seemed to have been wrong. Heisenberg showed with the 'uncertainty principle' that nothing can be sure in the world of quantum physics; don't ask me why, but the formula in the painting proves exactly that! He is explaining that to three others, John van Neumann (the short guy), William Bragg (Australian mathematician and the youngest winner of a Nobel prize ever), and the creator of the last painting, Alan Turing. Turing is the father of the computer, and of artificial intelligence. He received a formal apology in 2009 from the English government for the way he was treated because of his homosexuality. His formal punishment in England in the 1950s was most likely the cause of his suicide, only 42 years of age in 1954. He left the world with the essential concepts for the building of computers, as depicted in the painting. A small reader (the white element) reads and writes the 0s and 1s and can change them as well. John van Neumann took Turing's work further, and 0s and 1s in the painting translate to a quote of Neumann, a citation nowadays more accurate than ever before, to make sure that we will always preserve fundemental science: "A large part of mathematics which becomes useful, developed with absolutely no desire to be useful, and in a situation where nobody could possibly know in what area it would become useful; and there were no general indications that it ever would be so."
Dear visitors, have a look around, and enjoy the exhibition: appreciate the beauty of the works, the equations and especially the creativity of the people who developed these equations.They are works of art.