The Interlocking Nature of Science and Art


Although many might see differences between science and art, Kofo Babalola writes that there are more similarities than differences in both fields


In an ever-changing world, we often forget to pay attention to the details of the environment around us. We lose our sense of self in the fast-paced world that we live in today, as we care more about how we are going to keep up and adapt to the events that take place around us, rather than taking time to brainstorm and develop the skills hidden in us to aid our growth.

It is through the opportunity I have had to close off from the outside noise that has enabled me to find out what really makes me tick. In the field of science, I have seen the beauty that one often overlooks in mathematical equations and theories. Many see the complex jargons written through the representation of letters and Greek symbols that make up the equations as unsolvable and painful to even read but others that have an appreciation of maths see the beauty that goes on in the heads of these geniuses that managed to translate the wisdom they have encountered in their heads into mathematical equations.

There is much more to these equations than just a jumble of letters as they help us to solve the mysteries of the unknown. There is a lot that can be deduced from these mathematical equations as it is a form of language that helps to prove many of the theories that have been made about the world we live in today.

Although many might see the great differences that science and art have, there are more similarities than differences in these fields. It can be better explained through the artist which goes by the name of Leonardo DaVinci. He was a great artist mostly known for his work on the Mona Lisa painting. But it was surprising when I found out that he was also a scientist.

When one looks into his past, you can see that nothing restricted him from doing everything and anything. His mathematical mind aided his paintings in many ways, as he used his art as an outlet to show how his scientific mind envisioned the act of time travelling.

The painting of Mona Lisa shows the fusion between art and science as Einstein’s theory of relativity which aimed to prove the act of time travelling, led to paradoxes like the theory of the Mona Lisa painting. The connected nature between Einstein’s theory of relativity and the Mona Lisa painting enhances the ideology that there is creativity in each of the formulas made in the scientific field.

The use of different formulas that follow off one another to solve a problem is a form of art as the many different equations coalesce into an artistic painting that forms the solution. My teacher like many others often saw the beauty in Euler’s identity which is an equation- èiπ+1=0. This equation has been likened to Shakespeare’s sonnet as it is deemed the most beautiful equation, bringing five of the fundamental numbers in mathematics into one equation.
The form of interconnecting these numbers through the use of multiplication, addition, and exponentiation, shows the creativity in the scientific field as one can see the similarity with an artist blending different colours and shapes to make a masterpiece. There is a lot that can be deduced from this equationèìπ+1=0 that appears ever so simple. In each entity of the equation, one can see the different applications as the constant ‘e’ is used in the study of compound interest and the letter ‘i’, represents an imaginary number and the constant ‘π’ defines a circle.
It is absurd how all these obscurities manage to come together and simplify so easily.

This concept manages to bring together many different numbers and constants in maths to form a simple line of the equation. What often seems as simple is much more complex than what the eye lets on. It is just like how artists go through the detailed complex layout of their planning which ends with a beautiful painting that doesn’t show the different layers that the artist often goes through of dimension analysis.

This is the same as the process of solving a problem as the solution has more underlying layers that aren’t always visible to those observing as a lot of reasoning goes on in the scientific minds of a mathematician that goes beyond what is written on paper.

The intertwined nature between art and science is inevitable as often those of mathematical and scientific backgrounds are the world’s greatest artists. It takes creativity to show the overlapping nature of the things that we see as beauty in the world with science.

Many often see the logical nature in the field of science and overlook the creativity that science and maths encompasses.

Through the study of mechanical engineering, one is taught to have an eye for detail for the separate parts of an engine that mesh together to form a single structure just like a sculpture that is seen in an art exhibition carefully crafted as we see the blending of the crevices done by a sculptor.

The synthesizing of different parts into one is often seen in both art and science. The only difference is the creativity you see in art is often appealing to the eyes but in science, it is often seen as dull and bland as it has a repetitive nature. This doesn’t change the fact that most of the structures in science are borne from creativity.

The only difference is that the creativity in science seems unappealing to the eyes but a lot more artistry takes place beneath the surfaces of the structures built that’s invisible to the eyes. Scientists tend to not dwell on trying to show the story of how they got to their solution as they put the focus on the outcome and the function of their invention whereas an artist leads their audience on into the journey of how they got to the finale piece as the colours depict the emotions and thoughts that run through their minds as they create.

Scientists also tell their story but in a less blatant format as one has to look deep into their creations to analyse their experiences. The only difference between science and art is that they both tell a story but one more obvious than the other. This is the beauty in science that we often don’t see.

––Babalola is an Engineering student of the University College London