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Home > iSGTW - 17 June 2009 > Image of the week - A physicist sketches science in the style of an old master

Image of the week - A physicist sketches science in the style of an old master


(From Symmetry Magazine)

“In the first stage of sifting particle events to find the most interesting ones, algorithms in a two-dimensional matrix are used to identify electrons, jets and muons.”

Sergio Cittolin is first and foremost a physicist in search of answers to the mysteries of the universe. Yet he also has an artistic bent, and his talent for drawing has woven itself nicely into his 30 years of work at CERN. The result is a collection of Leonardo da Vinci-style illustrations that brighten CERN hallways, a book, and the covers of a number of technical documents.

See more of Cittolin's drawings.

Paris Sphicas, physics coordinator for the CMS experiment, says of Cittolin’s artwork, “The graphics are amazing in numerous ways. Foremost is the depiction of modern-day systems and actions in terms of medieval elements: the tons of data are drawn as piles of books; lasers become oil lamps; complicated systems, typically electronic, find mechanical analogs which are ingeniously conceived. Second, all these elements are combined in a way that the drawing gives, literally, a very short summary of what takes about 500 pages to describe. Third, it’s the art itself: it’s all drawn in the da Vinci style. From the text—which, of course, reads backwards and can only be deciphered in front of a mirror—to the line technique, the drawings look and feel like genuine works of Leonardo himself.”

Image courtesy of Sergio Cittolin, reprinted from Symmetry Magazine with permission.

 

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