Oxford, a city in central southern England, revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’. University College and Magdalen College are off the High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower (with city views) to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell.
“Declaring something impossible leads to more things being possible,” writes the physicist Chiara Marletto. “Bizarre as it may seem, it is commonplace in quantum physics.”
Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.
Constructor Theory is a new approach to formulating fundamental laws in physics. Instead of describing the world in terms of trajectories, initial conditions and dynamical laws, in constructor theory laws are about which physical transformations are possible and which are impossible, and why. This powerful switch has the potential to bring all sorts of interesting fields, currently regarded as inherently approximative, into fundamental physics. These include the theories of information, knowledge, thermodynamics, and life.
Read more about Marletto and David Deutsch’s constructor theory at Quanta Magazine: https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-to…
Plate tectonics is the narrative arc that ties every episode in Earth’s geologic history together. Thanks to the magnetic compasses hidden in volcanic rocks, scientists know where each tectonic jigsaw piece has been over eons of time. They can replicate the plates’ odysseys in beautiful and precise simulations that reveal the destruction and creation of Earth’s many faces. Lucía Pérez-Díaz, a geologist at Oxford, studies our planet’s stunning ability to constantly change its face.
Curator An Van Camp explains Rembrandt’s use of a printmaking technique known as etching, and what his early experiments tell us about the young artist’s working process.
The Young Rembrandt exhibition is open at the Ashmolean until 1 Nov 2020: https://www.ashmolean.org/youngrembrandt
Curator An Van Camp tells us about Rembrandt’s obsession with self portraits and how he improved his skill throughout his life.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt’s works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, and biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch painting), although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative and gave rise to important new genres. Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was also an avid art collector and dealer.
Sir Peter and Prof. Kaelin were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine last year by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, in recognition of their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, an essential adaptive process central to many significant diseases. The professors respectively work for the University of Oxford and Harvard University, and shared the Nobel Prize with Prof. Gregg Semenza, a fellow researcher.