This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Quantum poetics in NYC

quantum poetics.jpg
Unravelling physics fusing science with art

By James Dacey

“A mash-up of laboratory theatre and laboratory science”. This is how a group of New York thespians are describing their attempt to take theoretical physics to the stage.

Quantum Poetics is seeking to transform recent advances in theoretical physics and neuroscience into performance art, and it’s the latest project of NYC’s Stolen Chair Theatre Company.

A cast of 12, including clowns, stuntmen and musicians will create a “gravity and genre-defying world, which marvels at the complexity and beauty of how the universe’s massive and minuscule forces allow humans to build meaning”.

When I caught up with Liza Green, the theatre company’s spokesperson, she said they hope the performance will “expose audiences to what is beautiful and exciting about mathematical exploration and scientific thought.”

Admitting that the directors still have a lot of homework to do, she says they are determined to avoid “fake science” or “pop math”, citing the film Pi as an example of a production that, whilst name-checking maths and science, doesn’t really engage with academic content.

Of course, this is not the first time that playwrights have looked to theoretical physics for creative inspiration. British writer Tom Stoppard incorporated ideas from thermodynamics and chaos theory in his highly acclaimed play Arcadia (1993), which looked at the life and times of Lord Byron.

In Copenhagen (1998), another British dramatist Michael Frayn built an entire play around the famous 1941 conversation between Neils Bohr and his former protégé Werner Heisenberg in the Nazi-occupied Danish capital.

Earlier this year, the Ransom Theatre Company in Northern Ireland produced the Gentlemen’s Tea Drinking Society — a black comedy centred four alcoholic graduates from Cambridge one of whom has secretly discovered the Higgs boson.

Quantum Poetics will open its pilot season on November 22, which will build towards a full stage production scheduled for the Autumn of 2010.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text