An experimental seminar coopted paintings, poetry, and hip-hop music to teach physics to undergraduate students, who created art projects from the concepts that they learned.
The idea to teach physics through art had been brewing in Ágnes Mócsy’s mind for years. Mócsy, a theoretical physicist, had just started a visiting professorship at Yale University in New Haven. On the hook to teach, she expected to take the reins of a class on nuclear physics, her specialty. But a flyer from the university’s museums and libraries triggered her to consider a new possibility: Why not teach physics using Yale’s famous art collection? Receiving the green light last fall, she took a class of 15 first-year students on an art-filled journey through the cosmic landscape, the particle zoo, and quantum weirdness.