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New Exhibit Showcases the Art in Science Research

"Inquiry: The Art of Scientific Discovery" brings College of Sciences together with UNLV Galleries for an exhibit of images and objects related to UNLV research.
Arts & Culture  |  Feb 1, 2017  |  By Shane Bevell
Media Contact: Shane Bevell, 702-895-2079, shane.bevell@unlv.edu

This slide of a Martian meteorite (collected by NASA) by department of geoscience assistant professor Arya Udry is part of "Inquiry: The Art of Scientific Discovery," an exhibit at Richard Tam Alumni Center at UNLV.

Researchers from the UNLV College of Sciences will showcase the artistic side of science by featuring their most captivating research images.

When/Where

The exhibit "Inquiry: The Art of Scientific Discovery" runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb 3. to March 31, Monday through Friday, at the Jessie & Brian Metcalf Gallery on the second floor of the Richard Tam Alumni Center.

Reception

There will be a public reception to celebrate this exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Jessie & Brian Metcalf Gallery. Please RSVP or contact Shane Bevell with questions. 

About the Exhibit

There is tremendous beauty in the natural world, from witnessing the birth of the most distant galaxies, to seeing the smallest details of life on Earth, to examining the striking complexity generated by simple mathematical expressions. Often this beauty is overlooked because the technical nature of science requires that the communication of its results be done in the form of rigorous mathematical formulae, graphs that convey the results of complex data analysis, and language that has specific and narrow meaning. Yet, it is mankind’s observations of the natural world that inspire artists in their work, poets in their words, architects and musicians in their crafts, and scientists in their efforts to understand humanity’s place in the universe.

"When I give tours of the physics department, people will often say 'I had no idea that this was happening here,'" said Jason Steffen, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy,  whose brainchild this exhibit is. "They are similarly amazed when I talk about the research going on across the College of Sciences.

"At the same time, many science or math classes don't give the opportunity for students to see just how cool this stuff really is. I wanted to have a forum where people could both learn how UNLV is expanding human knowledge through our research and see some of the amazing stuff that we scientists see as we work."

A wide variety of cutting-edge research is being done at UNLV. The physics and astronomy department covers studies of the most energetic astronomical explosions, to the highest pressures and temperatures on Earth, to the discovery of planetary systems orbiting distant stars. In the school of life sciences researchers study life that proliferates in the most extreme of Earth’s environments, the smallest and most fragile of organisms, and the development of the enormous variety of plant and animal species on the Earth. In geosciences, the processes that drive our dynamic Earth are explored as well as the connections that exist between the Earth, its atmosphere, and the life it holds. Our chemists explore the properties and interactions of the building blocks of the universe, and our mathematicians examine the intricate details of symmetry, geometry, complexity, randomness, and infinity.

Download High-Res Photos

Martian Meteorite: Nakhlite Miller Range 090030 (Arya Udry/UNLV Department of Geoscience)

Spirals in Biology — This image shows a plant named Aloe polyphylla (commonly called spiral aloe), whose leaf arrangement creates a beautiful spiral pattern. Many such spiral patterns are found in biology and have been described mathematically based on the Fibonacci Series of numbers. (Paul J. Schulte/UNLV School of Life Sciences, David G. Costa/UNLVDepartment of Mathematical Sciences)