Wandering the Immeasurable

Sculpture by Gayle Hermick

"Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry." Richard P. Feynman

"After visiting the CERN site for the first time in 2005, I was captured by the enormity of what the Large Hadron Collider represents — experimentation based on centuries of scientific exploration. Current physics theories are based on those that came before, which were, in turn, based on other precedents. The connections between theories weave together the story of science, creating a fabric of complex detail. I was struck by the seemingly abstract and ethereal nature of the experiments being conducted at CERN. With a background in the visual arts, the language used by the scientific community was completely foreign to me—but its elegance was remarkable and intriguing." Gayle Hermick designer of the sculpture

CERN Science: A laboratory for the meeting of minds

The work of CERN involves thousands of scientists from over 100 countries, who work collaboratively. Each advancement leads to further discovery and innovation, and the forging of new relationships. Since the Laboratory’s establishment in 1954, men and women have been tapping into a rare brand of creativity to forge a unique culture. Coming from very different backgrounds but sharing the same curiosity and a passion that knows no bounds, they each play a part in productive collisions between genders, nationalities, career paths, educational backgrounds, values and skills. Following in the footsteps of thousands of humans who have each made a humble contribution to the expansion of knowledge over several millennia, each person at CERN has something to offer to add to the sum total. The sculpture narrates this story of how knowledge is passed down through the generations, grows until it is fully formed and contributes to the development of all. From the Mesopotamians’ cuneiform script to the mathematical formalism behind the discovery of the Higgs boson, the language of science becomes universal and goes hand in hand with the sharing of a common dream.

The Making of 'Wandering the Immeasurable'

The final installation, 7.09 metres high by 10.33 metres wide, comprises two stainless steel entwined ribbons that depict a selective chronology of innovations in physics, from the earliest revelations to present experimentation. The outward facing layer is laser cut with discoveries, presented in the language of the physicist, and follows the migration of science, reflecting how scientific information is shared throughout the world and over time. Corresponding equations are engraved on the inward-facing layer and are meant to resemble the musings of the physicists. They illustrate the aesthetic and esoteric nature of the mathematics behind physics. The sculpture bends in space, ending in mid-air—awaiting the next era of advancement and discovery. Its curve reflects the infinite possibilities presented to us by continual exploration of the complexities that contribute to the fabric of science.

 

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