Symmetry Breaking

Piece description from the artist

Symmetry breaking is an idea used to describe chirality in Chemical physics, the disparity between matter and antimatter in Cosmology, and also invoked in theories of why there's a temporal arrow – flow from past to future.

People who are interested in symmetry breaking work in pharmaceuticals, where chiral molecules are important components of drugs. As chirality, symmetry breaking is also important in biochemistry and biophysics because complex biological molecules and structures often feature chirality. In Materials Science and Applied Physics, chirality and broken symmetry show up in nonlinear optics and helical microstructures. Polymers can also be chiral or can adopt helical structures.
In a more general sense, amorphous completely disordered materials are considered completely symmetric. Once order develops, that complete symmetry is broken, leaving behind only the limited and specific symmetries of long-range order and the crystal unit cell symmetry groups (counterintuitive, yes?).
In Cosmology and high-energy Physics, people try to understand the broken symmetry of time's arrow, and the broken symmetry that gives us an excess of matter over antimatter.

Other works by Regina Valluzzi

About Regina Valluzzi

Waltham, MA

Dr. Regina Valluzzi has an extensive scientific background in nanotechnology and biophysics. She has been a scientist in the chemical industry, a green chemistry researcher, a research professor at the engineering school at Tufts, a start-up founder engaged in technology commercialization, and a start-up and commercialization consultant.

Even during periods of intense activity as a scientist, Dr. Valluzzi has always held a strong interest in the visual arts and in visual information. While she majored in Materials Science at MIT, she also obtained a second degree in music and a minor in visual studies. Visual arts have managed to permeate her technical work; during her Ph.D in Polymer Science and Engineering at UMass Amherst, she completed a thesis that required advanced electron microscopy, image analysis, and theoretical data modeling. These experiences provided the visual insight and information that now influences much of her artwork.

Dr. Valluzzi’s work has been included in private collections across the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Dubai and Malta, and in the corporate collection of "Seyfarth Shaw" Boston law offices around Boston. She has a selection of pieces on loan to the MIT Materials Science and Engineering Department as indoor public art. Her accomplishments include having published thirty articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, having made several scientific patents, having been a subject matter expert for an encyclopedia chapter, and having been invited to speak at science talks across the US, Europe, and Japan.

Her newsletter is a good source of ongoing information:

See Regina's portfolio here

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