“We do not usually discuss the theory of relativity with our undergraduate students. We offer the concept to graduate students.” This is one of the opening lines of Professor Lou Lozada during his lecture: “All physics is local and relative: A conversation on relativity“. Imagine the struggle of the professor and the audience (mostly members of Arts organizations) when he began explaining the equations. But it was a good struggle.
He provided a brief history of physical sciences starting with Ibn al-Shatir whose ideas on Heliocentric Universe were echoed by Nicolas Copernicus. This was later disproved by Galileo’s Galilean relativity ,which states that the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames. Isaac Newton would offer another law stating that the laws of the heavens are the same laws governing humans. Finally, we meet Albert Einstein’s E = mc2.
When he began talking equations, I mustered all the energy that I have to focus. But my lack of practice in the field and exhaustion got the best of me. The afternoon before that, we concluded the Shadowplay workshop at Museo ni Rizal – Fort Santiago. So, I ended up with a rather simplistic approach to the latter part of the lecture: grab story ideas from the lines that he would utter. Here were some of the story ideas:
1. Newton is sad about his equation.
2. Eddington waits for the eclipse
3. Speed of light is constant
4. Chirp from black holes
5. Will you survive a black hole?
6. Spaghettification (a legitimate term physicists use to refer to the way your torso and head and the rest of your limbs will look like inside a black hole)
Before the first session ended, I gathered the participants and showed samples of the chapbooks that we will be making. We agreed to make a collection of flash fictions because of the limited time and because it is a fitting form. We created a series of flash fictions and agreed to present different versions of the same work. We presented them as “works in progress” because we view theories in the same state. On the second night, the participants wrote some more and we tried making mockups. On the last day, I brought the chapbook I made and called it Version 1.0 because obviously, they contained the first versions of their drafts. The participants brought their version 2.0:
“Si-Lab: Los Banos Experimental Arts Festival opened today as a way to emphasize the interplay between art and science. Organized by the UPLB office for Initiatives in Culture and Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences Art and Science Fusion Program, this year’s festival worked on Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The collaborating science tidy is Prof Lou Lozada, a physicist and the collaborating artists are Marc Cosico (visual arts) who mentored the UP Painter’s Club; Rae Rival-Cosico (literary arts) who mentored UPLB Samahang Layb; Derf SirangRomantiko (dance) who mentored the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Company and Prof Jeremy Dela Cruz (music) who mentored the UPLB Broadway Company.” – Toto Dela Cruz, Project Head