Thanks to Wired, I stumbled upon a site which shows some breathtaking images of optics. Optics, a branch of physics, deals with the behaviour and properties of light and lends itself to some amazing photography opportunities. While you’d have to be at least a geek to study optics, anyone can appreciate the visual beauty without knowing any of the underlying physics. I believe this allows for a gap to be bridged between science and the general public.
While different approaches are taken to bring science closer to people, such as the efforts of people like Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox and Neil deGrasse Tyson, there is still a lot of work to be done. I could name several reasons why science is not appreciated as much as celebrities or sports. For example, it could be that someone’s religion is holding them back from even risking a peek at something that has different ideas about the world. Or maybe they think of science as something that is difficult and reserved only for nerds with glasses and no social life. As for me, I only discovered science so late in my life because I was never properly introduced to it. My teachers were boring, the textbooks rarely explained anything beyond the basics, and there was nothing on tv except Discovery Channel and National Geographic, which don’t emphasize the beauty of science. It wasn’t until I randomly looked around on Youtube and found the Symphony of Science, made by melodysheep. From there I went on to watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series, which opened my eyes and changed my life forever.
If it’s not clear that I think it important to introduce science to people through its beauty, let me make it clear. I think we should introduce science to people through its beauty. And beautiful it is. I have already mentioned optics, but what about biology? Have you ever looked through a microscope to see the structure of a cell? Or what about astronomy? When’s the last time you gazed at the planets with a decent telescope? Even our old friend the Moon can offer some spectacular images, if only you take the time to look.
To do my part, I will be posting various images from time to time, and hope it will inspire you. If not that, then at least it should give you some pleasure because science doesn’t have to be all about practical use. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope you will enjoy the images on Optics Picture of the Day.