Fermi National Laboratory

Sized Matter-Perception of the Extreme Unseen

Jan-Henrik Andersen

While sciences propose and explain our world with measurable means, visual art and design offers intellectual and emotional appreciation of that which cannot be explained by any other means, measurable or not. This freedom from the constraints of scientific conventions may broaden our comprehension of our world, and I have taken great pleasure in freely bridging science with design - hopefully for the better of both as they are linked by beauty.
The nature of the work is to lift the veil on the optically impossible task of visually observing subatomic particles by translating their properties and classification, known as the Standard Model of Subatomic Physics, into a coherent visual language. No one has ever seen, nor will anyone ever see anything as small or fast as a Quark or a Neutrino, one could argue that they could look like anything, if they have looks at all. One the other hand, a translation to visual aesthetics of their properties and behavior may offer a basis for a discussion of their visual qualities. The proposal as seen in the Fermilab Gallery, contextualize the particles in a syntax where properties like velocity, color, mass and spin is represented as visual elements within an order of itself. And perhaps yet more important; a visual perception of subatomic particles and their interaction may open this fantastic and beautiful world available to a broader audience.

The collaboration with my colleagues, physicists Dr. Gordon Kane and Dr. David Gerdes, and Professor Sherri Smith at the University of Michigan, has excited and informed my work, and humbled my experience and appreciation for their work. Their thoughtfulness and critiques has fueled my creative process.

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Jan-Henrik Andersen

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last modified 5/31/2005   email Fermilab
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