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Ephemeral Complexity

by Rob Rey

“Think of mixing cream into coffee … At the beginning, the system is low-entropy. There are relatively few ways to rearrange the atoms in the cream and coffee without changing its macroscopic appearance … At the end, everything is mixed together and the entropy is relatively high… It’s the intermediate stage, in between low entropy and high entropy, where things look complex. Tendrils of cream reach into the coffee in intricate and beautiful ways. Those swirls in the cream mixing into the coffee? That’s us. Ephemeral patterns of complexity, riding a wave of increasing entropy from simple beginnings to a simple end.”

– Sean Carroll, The Big Picture

7 x 7 inches
Oil on Panel
Detailed study

$475 $475

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Art to help make science a more meaningful part of our lives.

Through countless mythological and religious traditions, humanity has proven to have a deep-seated need for awe-inspiring stories and the experience of wonder. With a powerful resonance, these stories provide a framework for understanding where we fit in our communities, and in our cosmos. They can also give a us a feeling of shared connection and participation with the rest of humanity, helping us to show our more caring and compassionate side.

What are the resonant, positive, and awe-inspiring stories of today? How can our expanding scientific knowledge drive our enchantment with the natural world and grow our empathic interests toward our fellow humans? Exploring these questions visually, Rob hopes to promote or create the stories that best help us to achieve these goals.

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