I have some comments:
1) First of all, i would like to resume a couple of projects that use this
sonification of light. The examples are listed by Eva Alloza, from our
Piratas de la Ciencia group.
- The enlightenment, from quiet ensemble:
- Neurospace (audio 3D), by Timothy Schmele. Sonification from fMRI images.
- Here just a compilation of works,
2) I pick a sentence from Richard´s post: "Will we soon be able to sense
and comprehend a macro-to-micro continuum (the new analog)?"
As a nanotechnology researcher i think this sentence has strong
implications. Nanodevices are in the heart of the sensing mechanism,
including our biological senses. May be, just a change in vocabulary, i
would like to change a little bit to "from atom to macro continuum", in the
sense that nanoscaled effects, could link both ranges.
I´m very interested on this topic, an this would be my research work on the
next Scientific Delirum Madness. Periodic table is just a representation
that connects atomic characteristics (number of electrons, protons, ...)
with macroscopic material properties (metals, semiconductors, noble gases,
...). It is just fascinating this representation. May be we can
understanding as a XIX century representation. Our idea is that nanoscaled
nanomaterial, by their specific properties, needs an alternative
representation. In words of Javier Garcia: "Nanotechnoilogy adds a third
dimension to the periodic table" (
http://metode.cat/en/Metode-TV/Entrevista-a-Javier-Garcia). So, this new
dimension needs new representations, and as nanotechnology is a nowadays
science, we needs nowadays ways to represent. But this ways needs to know
the characteristics of nanoparticles and their link to the macroscopic
material responses. I guess this representation must contain a very rich
kind of information, as the conventional periodic table has it.I think this
is ver hard work, and at the same time very deep science topic. In science
new representations gives the possibility to build new measurement set-up.
In fact, new set-up is kind of new sense (i like your three division
categories Roger!). So, new sense is new way to know, so understand, so,
science. So, there is an strong and deep link between representing to
understanding. So, this is an answer to the question: what can do art for
science? = do best and deep science.
3) However, i have some discrepancy in one concept. I agreed that today new
ways of representation contains powerfull "visions", but i think old
fashion ways must be listened too. I think old is a world that have many
implications. Greek philosophy is old, but we can study it with today
"eyes" (through hermeneutic processes), and this is a kind of "new"
discourses (this is obvious). And just the contrary can happen as well (new
technologies just to do the same things). I like a lot the XIX century
Wheatstone Kaleidophone, which is a way to translate sound vibrations into
light patterns. XIX century is full of very rich experiments, which in our
today eyes could give us enormous feedback. I leave here an example of
converting sound into visual patterns which comes from this old way of
representation, but for me contains fascinating power. However, at the same
time, it contains the same error than the sun video. There are two
versions, first one is just the experiment, with the amazing sound of
vibration, which in fact is totally related to the visual pattern (it can
help us to visualize electron Wavefunction in Quantum dots, or light
propagating modes in fiber optics, or many more !!). The second one is just
the same video, but with the sound from scientist taste (this time even
worse!!). I leave you both versions:
Independent if this is XIX century example of visualization/representation,
our "reading" could be "old" or "new". Second video, with the scientist
election for music destroys the beauty of the vibrational original sound.
At least, we have the opportunity to listen both versions.
4) Finally, i would like to send another example of science communication
of light, which is, in my opinion, much much better, from BBBC Barcelona:
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