Quotation by Leonard Shlain

Both art and physics are unique forms of language. Each has a specialized lexicon of symbols that is used in a distinctive syntax. Their very different and specific contexts obscure their connection to everyday language as well as to each other. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy just how often the terms of one can be applied to the concepts of the other. "Volume," "space," "mass," "force," "light," "color," "tension," "relationship," and "density" are descriptive words that are heard repeatedly if you trail along with a museum docent. They also appear on the blackboards of freshman college physics lectures. The proponents of these two diverse endeavors wax poetic about elegance, symmetry, beauty, and aesthetics. While physicists demonstrate that A equals B or that X is the same as Y, artists often choose signs, symbols, and allegories to equate a painterly image with a feature of experience. Both of these techniques reveal previously hidden relationships.
Leonard Shlain, U.S. surgeon, author. Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, & Light, ch. 1, Morrow (1991).
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