Quilt 3: Hubble

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Artist Notes: Hubble

I took this title from the [shortened] quote by Edwin Hubble in the lower right of the quilt. The full quote:

Equipped with our five senses – along with telescopes and microscopes [and mass spectrometers and seismographs and magnetometers and particle accelerators and detectors sensitive to the entire electromagnetic spectrum] – we explore the universe around us and call the adventure science.

I definitely think of science (and engineering and data analysis) as personal adventures. But here I have laid out our adventurers – an astronomer and a microscopist – on The Shadowlands. As much as science is an adventure, it is also a desperate quest to push back the darkness to find the light, the laws and logic that govern our world. I have lightly quilted this piece with an homage to Feynman diagrams, an example of which is shown at bottom.

A – Ocean jasper? The Milky Way? The interior of a long bone? What do you think each image could be?

B – An observatory; our important tools look not only in the visible but across the EM spectrum.

C – A spiral galaxy, one of two trillion in our universe. How far out can we see? That is equivalent to asking how far back in time – the speed of light determines that distance.

D – Black bubbles. Try blowing bubbles when it is zero degrees out (or microwave a bar of soap)! Experiment, science adventurer!

E – Stars through the clouds in our night skies.

F – A gas giant planet, or perhaps Venus with its thick, toxic atmosphere!

G – The sun? Bacterial growth? So much of the vast world mimics the miniature world, up to 40 orders of magnitude different in size.

H – A microscope for a budding scientist.

I – Looking through the portable telescope at the night sky. Remember to adjust it frequently for the earth’s rotation!

J – Could this be the individual atoms in a crystal lattice?

K – A woman using a scanning electron microscope; a scanning tunneling microscope can display a single atom!

At left is a pictorial representation of the interaction of subatomic particles of which all of our universe is made. Matter and energy are different forms of the same thing. Matter appears to come into and go out of existence from time to time, but rest assured that it is using or producing energy when it does so, so nothing goes to waste.