I had the most wonderful day Last Sunday. My hometown Turku is one of the European Capitals of Culture 2011 and there are all kinds of events throughout the year. I did not however expect anything very special for me, but it turned out I was wrong. In the local newspaper I found out about The International Science Day - Science Meets Art. I have watched Ted talks and wondered how nice it would be to attend one and now I got the chance to see many outstanding speakers talk about quantum physics, mathematics and how these two hars subjects can be presented in a fun and a creative way.
Hannu Rajaniemi, the author of Quantum Thief, a new sci-fi book which I love! Hannu is Finnish but Lives in Scotland, has a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics. He was talking about the differencies and similarities in Mathematics and Fiction. Mathematicians create imaginary objects and determine relations and rules between them and start playing with these imaginary things. That is just what I have tried to tell people about math. It is based on the creativity of the scientists! Other sciences use the results of this play, but it is not relevant for the mathematician. On the other hand Fiction has to have the plot, style, relations between characters and other rules. For me writing is like that; sometimes I am much more comfortable playing with my math than trying to figure out how to write logical, understandable sentences.
I also saw the premiere of the Documentary "Inside the Light", the story about dealing with single atoms and photons and making their presence visible.
Mathematics and quantum physics was used to describe what it looks like in a human's brain, what mathematics has to do with joggling and how music could be created from numbers and arithmetical operations. All the speakers made these hard scientific things so much more comprehensible even for people who don't know the theory so well.
I will get back to more details later, but here is a short video about the conference with a couple of interviews
I have never attended a cofenference or a seminar which would have fascinated me more!