The Student Room Group

Links between Art and Physics

Are there any links between art and physics that are interesting to you?
I want to study physics at uni and am studying Maths, FM, Physics and art at a level. I think I need to justify taking art beyond enjoyment and so I want to explore some links between art and physics.
Any ideas?
(btw my dream course is physics and philosophy at Oxford, so I kinda want to be competitive)
Is philosophy not pretty close to art? Things like interpretation etc all come under philosophy, so you could link them as such.

Art can help you visualise aspects of the physical world too.
Original post by MayaVellichor
Are there any links between art and physics that are interesting to you?
I want to study physics at uni and am studying Maths, FM, Physics and art at a level. I think I need to justify taking art beyond enjoyment and so I want to explore some links between art and physics.
Any ideas?
(btw my dream course is physics and philosophy at Oxford, so I kinda want to be competitive)

On a broader level - there are many links between music and physics. Something that has interested me for many years.
The idea of pitch and frequency alone leads to the whole area of musical scales and the ratio of the frequencies of the notes.
Why are some frequency ratios between notes 'harmonic' and why do others produce discord?
The waveform of a musical note played by an instrument is characteristic of that instrument and determined by the ratio of the overtones to the fundamental frequency, as well as other factors.

In visual art there is a link with holograms and physical optics. (Interference / coherence)
There is the link between colour and wavelength of light. Also paint and pigments.
In photographic art you have all the physics of lenses as well as the above link to colours.

It's really a case of how far you want to dig into some of these areas.
Original post by Stonebridge
On a broader level - there are many links between music and physics. Something that has interested me for many years.
The idea of pitch and frequency alone leads to the whole area of musical scales and the ratio of the frequencies of the notes.
Why are some frequency ratios between notes 'harmonic' and why do others produce discord?
The waveform of a musical note played by an instrument is characteristic of that instrument and determined by the ratio of the overtones to the fundamental frequency, as well as other factors.

In visual art there is a link with holograms and physical optics. (Interference / coherence)
There is the link between colour and wavelength of light. Also paint and pigments.
In photographic art you have all the physics of lenses as well as the above link to colours.

It's really a case of how far you want to dig into some of these areas.

Thank you so much! I am not much of a musician but I think it might be interesting to explore anyway. Exploring the links between colour and the wavelengths of light also sounds cool :smile:
Original post by pinkdoughnut11
Is philosophy not pretty close to art? Things like interpretation etc all come under philosophy, so you could link them as such.

Art can help you visualise aspects of the physical world too.

Thank you! I think that viewing art as linked to physics and philosophy actually really helps. I appreciate the perspective!
Original post by MayaVellichor
Thank you! I think that viewing art as linked to physics and philosophy actually really helps. I appreciate the perspective!


https://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/art-draws-out-the-beauty-of-physics

I found this through google so maybe explore a bit more?
You don't need to relate all your A-levels to your proposed degree course. In fact, it's probably really just a waste of your PS space to do so - you would be much better off critically discussing the wider reading you've done (especially for the philosophy side of PhysPhil) than inventing really obscure connections between your A-level subjects.
Original post by Muttley79
https://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/art-draws-out-the-beauty-of-physics

I found this through google so maybe explore a bit more?

Thank you! the article is really interesting- it actually links to some previous research that I have done into CERN so that is super cool :smile:
Original post by artful_lounger
You don't need to relate all your A-levels to your proposed degree course. In fact, it's probably really just a waste of your PS space to do so - you would be much better off critically discussing the wider reading you've done (especially for the philosophy side of PhysPhil) than inventing really obscure connections between your A-level subjects.

It's more for questions in interviews if anything, but I agree that I should definitely prioritise wider reading to broaden my knowledge! I think that it might be a nice segway into further reading by introducing a topic of physics that I was particularly fascinated by paired with my knowledge of art in the PS- but I probs wont dedicate more than a sentence to it
(then again I am in yr 12 so maybe I am planning this a little early)
Original post by MayaVellichor
Thank you! the article is really interesting- it actually links to some previous research that I have done into CERN so that is super cool :smile:

It's more for questions in interviews if anything, but I agree that I should definitely prioritise wider reading to broaden my knowledge! I think that it might be a nice segway into further reading by introducing a topic of physics that I was particularly fascinated by paired with my knowledge of art in the PS- but I probs wont dedicate more than a sentence to it
(then again I am in yr 12 so maybe I am planning this a little early)


I seriously doubt they would ask you about your art studies in interview. The physics interview will be technical physics/maths questions, while the philosophy interview might be a bit more general, it'll probably be more generally academic discussions focused on philosophical problems.

It just seems a pointless exercise if you ask me! It's very easy to run out of word/line count for the PS already so there's no need to "waffle" to add wordcount. I can imagine you'll have more than enough to discuss focusing on physics, philosophy, and their intersection (i.e. the philosophy of physics and of science) without bringing in extraneous matters.
Original post by MayaVellichor
Thank you! the article is really interesting- it actually links to some previous research that I have done into CERN so that is super cool :smile:

One of my classmates [who I always beat in Physics tests] works at CERN :smile:
Mark Lythgoe is the head of medical imaging at UCL and he gets involved in art projects as a method of science communication.

Http://marklythgoe.net
Thank you!
Fractal Imaging, more mathematics but still interesting.

Electronics is entirely based in quantum physics at different levels of absraction. Which leads to the application of electronics in art, music and sound reproduction, synthesizers, 3D sound projection, ultrasound imaging, also check out the application of lasers used in CD, DVD, holographic imaging etc.

Brian May (Queen Rock band lead guitarist). Musician went back to his roots becoming an astrophysicist. Check out his song '39' which is about a group of inter-stellar travellers succumbing to the effects relativity and time-dilation after returning from a voyage of discovery.

Brian Cox. Formerly a member of the successful band D:Ream and now probably the best known scientist on British T.V.
(edited 1 year ago)
Please don’t waste space in your PS justifying your A level subjects. That space is for talking about your academic interests and activities in physics.
Original post by uberteknik
Fractal Imaging, more mathematics but still interesting.

Electronics is entirely based in quantum physics at different levels of absraction. Which leads to the application of electronics in art, music and sound reproduction, synthesizers, 3D sound projection, ultrasound imaging, also check out the application of lasers used in CD, DVD, holographic imaging etc.

Brian May (Queen Rock band lead guitarist). Musician went back to his roots becoming an astrophysicist. Check out his song '39' which is about a group of inter-stellar travellers succumbing to the effects relativity and time-dilation after returning from a voyage of discovery.

Brian Cox. Formerly a member of the successful band D:Ream and now probably the best known scientist on British T.V.

I had no idea about brian may (love Queen- definitely a jam) that just increases my love of his music
I am going to add '39' to my playlist!
Thank you!
Original post by PQ
Please don’t waste space in your PS justifying your A level subjects. That space is for talking about your academic interests and activities in physics.

Ok, dw i won't :smile:
I just want to be prepared for any questions about it, but now I am actually really interested in researching the overlap out of curiosity
it might be cool to combine two subjects that I enjoy in a mini project
Edit: Thanks for the advice!
(edited 1 year ago)

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