Art and physics might seem like polar opposites, but the two fields
have a long history of complementing one another. That connection will be
explored in a pair of free, public lectures to be held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory on Thursday, Sept. 19, and at Pasadena City College on Friday,
Sept. 20.

The lectures, entitled “A Unified View of the Universe,” begin at 7
p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The lecture will also be
Web cast on Thurs., Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. Pacific time at and will be archived
online for later viewing.

The featured speaker is Dr. Lute Maleki, a senior research scientist and
the supervisor of the Quantum Sciences and Technology Group at JPL.
Maleki will discuss how various developments in the arts have contributed to
the field of physics. For example, the notion of perspective developed by the
Italian artist Giotto di Bondone is essentially the same concept that, once
generalized to four dimensions, describes Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special
Relativity. Leonardo da Vinci has made numerous contributions to physics
and other sciences, especially to mechanics. Giovanni Franceso Grimaldi
rejected the notion of particle flow of light advanced by physicist Sir Isaac
Newton, in favor of a “wave” picture, by studying shadows surrounding
opaque objects.

Maleki has been at JPL since 1979. He works on a number of
activities related to low-noise, ultra-high stability quantum sensors, including
atomic clocks. Maleki, who holds a Ph.D. in physics, is an adjunct professor
of physics at the University of Southern California, and he teaches “Physics
and the Visual Arts” at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. Maleki
has received several NASA awards and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers, Inc., which honored him with the I.I. Rabi Award.

The lecture at JPL, located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, near the
Oak Grove Dr. exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway, will be held in the von
Karman Auditorium. The Friday lecture will be held in Pasadena City
College’s Forum at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. For more information, call (818)
354-0112 or see .