Making The Conceptual Tangible

Research through exhibition of artworks that asks the question, “Can Art enhance the Communication of Science?”

The Precession Series: Seeing the Unseen

The amount by which a pendulum precesses depends on how far North or South of the equator it is hung. It demonstrates the Coriolis force [causing objects to be deflected from their paths due to earth’s rotation] on a long pendulum. The contours of the sculptures showing the pendulum’s precession are spaced in 2-hourly intervals. The centre of each sculpture represents the equator, where there is no precession, while the circumference represents the north pole, at which a pendulum would precess by 360˚.

The actual angle precessed over a 24-hour period is given by the formula:

ω = 360° sin λ

where λ is the latitude at which the pendulum is hung. The arc drawn at DJCAD’s latitude (56.4566°N) shows that a pendulum here precesses by 300° a day.

Lucy’s interdisciplinary research highlights the value of art as significant for knowledge acquisition, understanding perspectives and the translation of abstract concepts into tangible knowledge.

Harmonic Ratios: Pendulums in C-major

Four clock-movements designed to drive pendulums whose frequencies are in the same ratios as the unison, major third, perfect fifth, and octave intervals used in music. The clock pendulum sculpture alongside this screen relates audible harmony with a visual kinetic sculpture in real time, enabling the viewer to experience the physics, to “see” musical intervals through the heterodyning of pairs of pendulums.. This sound frequency is how the ear receives it, and the brain interprets it as a tuneful pair of notes through our learnt experience.