chance to see an old favorite...
"In doing an exhibition, as in Mathematica, one deliberately
tries to let the fun out of the bag. The catch is that
it can't be any old fun but it must be a very special
brand… The fun must follow all of the rules of the concept
Eames, renowned exhibition designer and producer of the
classic film "Powers of Ten"
young boy watches a red-arrow travel continuously
over the surface of a 15-foot-long "Moebius Band",
proving visually that the figure has but one surface
and one edge.
Angeles - Mathematica: A World of Numbers and Beyond,
an exhibition designed to display the range of mathematics,
and share the excitement that mathematicians find in pursuing
their science, opens at the California Science Center
July 12 and runs through September 8, 2002. The theory,
imagery and history of mathematics are portrayed in an
array of innovative interactive elements providing guests
with a closer look at the science behind key mathematical
concepts. Designed by the Office of Charles and Ray Eames,
Mathematica was organized by the California
is the last chance to see the exhibition that won the
hearts of several generations of teachers and students
during its tenure at the California Science Center (formerly
California Museum of Science and Industry) from 1961-1997.
Responding to the groundswell of public interest for the
exhibit, Mathematica was resurrected and
transformed into a 2,500 sq. foot traveling exhibition.
However, all good things must come to an end, and this
will be the exhibit's final appearance at the Science
of mathematics are explained by peep-show movies to
a young visitor who experienced the exhibit in 1965.
The exhibit, brought back to the California Science
Center (previously the California Museum of Science
and Industry) by popular demand, includes six peep-shows
that explore such subjects as symmetry, topology,
functions, numbers and the method used by Eratosthenes
to establish he size of the earth.
includes six interactive units covering the following
concepts: celestial mechanics, the Moebius band, probability,
topology, minimal surfaces, projective geometry, and multiplication.
In each of the interactive displays a visitor pushes a
button to activate the demonstration. When the button
is pressed on the Probability machine 30,000 plastic balls
fall through a maze of 200 steep pegs, randomly forming
the classic bell curve.
the Multiplication Cube, a cube composed of 512 electric
lightbulbs illuminates the answers to multiplication problems
entered sequentially on a keyboard by the visitor. Guests
also experience the concept of Minimal Surfaces as a soap
film membrane assumes the shape of a solid geometric frame.
principles these exhibits demonstrate mechanically are
also explained by graphic panel with text and illustrations.
Another visual aspect of the exhibition is an Image Wall
that features graphs and diagrams illustrating mathematical
"Cube of Lights," made up of 512 glowing
lights and clicking relays, is one of the lively mathematical
attractions at the "Mathematica - A World of
Numbers and Beyond" exhibit.
late designers Charles and Ray Eames are renowned for
designing furniture, exhibitions and more than 100 films
including the Eames classic film "Powers of Ten."
The Eames office spent a year researching the exhibition,
drawing on the collections of Butler Library at Columbia
University in New York City for many of the visual artifacts.
Mathematica has often been used as a model
for exhibitions on science. Its longevity and enduring
popularity are proof of its value and of the scholarship
that contributed to its development.
The California Science Center is open daily from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's
Day. Admission to the exhibitions is free. For recorded
information on IMAX show times, phone (213) 744-7400.
For advance ticket purchases, group rates, or to make
free reservations for any visiting group of 15 or more
(required), call (213) 744-2019. Parking is available
in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th Street for $6 per
car. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair
accessible. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE
or visit our website at www.casciencectr.org.