Art interprets the visible world. Physics charts its unseen workings. The two realms seem completely opposed. But consider that both strive to reveal truths for which there are no words––with physicists using the language of mathematics and artists using visual images. In Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions. From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, artists have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Monet and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughout history. Provicative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science––and an exhilarating history of ideas.
Leonard Shlain is Chairman of Laparoscopic Surgery at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and is Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image and Sex, Time, and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution. Dr. Shlain lectures internationally and has been featured on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer and NPR. He lives in Mill Valley, California.