Category Archives: Personal

My Dog Days of Summer Art Gallery Exhibit

Some of my astrophotography is on display at Wilde-Meyer Gallery. It includes two nebulae, Thors’ Helmet and the Dolphin, located in the constellation Canis Major or “Great Dog” that rises during the aptly named “dog days of summer”.

Please see below (or click here for a PDF) describing the details of their location in the sky and astrophotography involved.

In situ at the Gallery (with a Lawrence Lee painting of the Milky Way to the right)

Greg Moxness, Tucson AZ

Info about my creative work: The Universe, Math, Physics, & Art

I think the most well-known (2D) image I’ve created so far (above) is found on Wikipedia’s (WP) math/geometry pages. It is what has been called the Public Relations (PR) or publicity photo for E8, which is an 8D (or 248 dimensional as the math guys count it) geometric object. It has been used in books, papers, math/science conference promotional materials, etc. That WP page also has what many used to consider “uninteresting” – my 3D versions of the same object. E8 is used in various theories to understand how the Universe operates way below the atomic level (i.e. the quantum stuff). I think it is responsible for what I call the shape of the Universe. As others have said, “who knew the Universe had a shape?”

In (very) layman’s terms, that 2D image of E8 looks sort-of-like how the lowly 4D Tesseract cube would look if it grew up into an 8D object, but a bit more interesting. The Tesseract was made (more) popular in the modern Avengers movies. In 2015 before I had ever seen any of those movies, I created a laser etched 3D projection of E8 within a jewel cut optical crystal cube and put a photo of that object lit from below by a blue LED on my website’s main homepage. Someone mentioned the resemblance and I was surprised at the likeness, motivating me to go see the movies.

Another of my more notable math/physics images has to do with the discovery of QuasiCrystals made by a guy, Dan Shechtman, who was ostracized from academia for the “impossible” idea of crystals having rotational symmetries beyond 2,3,4 and 6. He is now a Nobel Laureate. The WP image above is on that QuasiCrystal page as an overlay of part of E8 projected over a picture made from shooting a beam of x-rays at an icosahedral Ho-Mg-Zn quasicrystal.  I didn’t actually do that experiment with the x-ray beams, but I did similar ones in my college days on a particle accelerator called the Cockroft-Walton Kevatron – see below for a picture of me (the one with the beard ;–)  in the physics lab assembling a moon dust experiment. One of the professors had gotten the accelerator out of Germany after having worked on the Manhattan project.

E8 and its 4D children, the 600-cell and 120-cell (pages on which I have some work, amongst others) and its grandkids (2 of the 3D 5 Platonic Solids, one of which is the 3D version of the 2D Pentagon) are all related to the Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Ratio. So that kind of explains why most of my 2D art, 3D objects and sculptures (e.g. furniture like the dodecahedron table below), and 4D youtube animations all use the Golden Ratio theme.

Greg Moxness, Tucson AZ