Cosmic zoom
Smitha Vishveshwara (Condensed matter physicist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign )
Date & Time
03 April 2021, 10:00 to 11:30


In Quantum Voyages, two voyagers, Terra and Akash, guided by the spirit of wisdom, Sapienza, enter the microscopic realm of atomic landscapes and quantum conundrums to discover a magnificent and baffling world foreign to everyday human experience. The piece weaves together dramatic performance, movement, music, and guest appearances by physicists as quantum sages. Co-created by physicist Smitha Vishveshwara and theater-maker Latrelle Bright, the piece features actors, physics and theater students, and leading scientists. Smitha Vishveshwara, in conversation with Aditya Vijaykumar, describes the making of the piece and the science and drama behind it. 

A virtual version emerging in pandemic times can be found here. There will be a special screening of this show at 9:15 am, and Smitha Vishveshwara will be present to answer questions live. 

About The Speaker:

Smitha Vishveshwara is a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who maintains close ties to scientific, educational, and cultural establishments in Bengaluru, India. Her theoretical research explores the coldest states of matter in the universe, nanomaterials, strange quantum particles, black holes, proteins, and more. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a Simons Fellow, and an inaugural Margaret Burbidge Visiting Professor. Over the past several years, she has been combining her passions for the arts and the sciences. She has developed an interdisciplinary project-based course, Where the Arts Meet Physics, in which students conceive, build and share their marvelous creations from the quantum to the cosmic. She has collaborated with theater-makers, dancers, musicians, visual artists, and more to create several works, including a performance-based adventure tale, Quantum Voyages, and a meditative visual-music-narrative piece, Quantum Rhapsodies.

Aditya is a third-year graduate student at ICTS working on gravitational wave astrophysics. He also writes, directs and acts in stage theatre plays with the NCBS-based collective StageCraft.