Trapping Ultra-cold Atoms in Optical Lattices

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Petra Fersterer
Lynn Taylor


My research, which is built on strict physical rules, seems very far from the creative work of an artist, but as Valerie Hazan asserts, artists and scientists are “both manipulating reality to understand it.” In the Art and Light project I paired with artist Lynn Taylor, who describes below how the Trapping Atoms collaboration unfolded over the ten months that we worked together - Petra Fersterer

How ‘we’ see the world is subjective. If we consider Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the body as a perceptual tool—“we live in a world of sense-experience and what we can touch and feel, see and hear, is the sum of our reality”4—it raises important questions about how and what we perceive. Humans develop an understanding of object permanence, but does what we see exist when it is out of sight? - Lynn Taylor


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Author Biographies

Petra Fersterer, University of Otago

Petra Fersterer graduated with a BSc hons from Otago University in 2014. She is currently continuing at Otago University as a PhD student in Theoretical Physics, researching “Light scattering as a probe for ultra cold atom many body states.” She has presented at IONS KOALA Conferences in 2014 and 2015. Petra also has an interest in art and is represented by Gallery de Novo, Arrowtown Gallery and local charity auctions.

Lynn Taylor

Lynn Taylor graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor of Education and focused her early career on specialist art teaching. In 1998 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, followed by a Master of Fine Arts in 2003. These dual steams operated together when she was a lecturer at the Dunedin School of Art and they continue through her work as a Visual Arts facilitator where her praxis revolves around collaborative projects which encourage audiences and groups from different sectors becoming involved in art experiences and contributing to exhibitions. She has been the recipient of Artist Residencies, and her work is held in numerous collections.