Saturday, May 30, 2015

Documentary about a scientist using art to make discoveries.

Painting the Way to the Moon is a feature documentary about Princeton mathematician and artist Ed Belbruno and how he found a new way of space travel using chaos theory.

The documentary,
"is Ed's first hand account of his time at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and of how he used chaos theory and painting to find a way for satellites to travel (for example, from the earth to the moon) using very little fuel. Also known as 'ballistic capture', this would allow satellites to 'surf the gravitational field' to get from one point to the next.

But Ed's theory was rejected, and he had to give up trying to convince his peers that his work was worthwhile. Just then, Ed was given the chance of a lifetime when a JPL engineer knocked on Ed's door to ask if his theory could be used to rescue a Japanese satellite, which had malfunctioned on its way to the moon. What happened next changed space travel and put Ed's life on a new trajectory.
Painting the Way to the Moon shows how art and science share a common process."

Ed says, "(Van Gogh) did paintings so fast, that they have an element of reality that we don't see, because we're thinking." So that's what Belbruno did, too.

This is not the only time that Belbruno used his paintings to lead the way to new discoveries about the deep nature of the universe. Here's an article that talks about his discovery of "alternate time" through his artwork.

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