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Abstract Title: That is Cool: The Nature of Aesthetics in Physics
Abstract: Aesthetics is often defined as the study of beauty. In the context of physics, what is beautiful? What elicits a 'Wow! Awesome! Cool!' response versus a snore? Can we use aesthetics to deepen or change students' perceptions of physics and/or the world around them?

We propose three tables:
1.  Visual Beauty of Physics. Can appreciation of the beauty of physics (e.g. sunsets or fractals) be increased by deeper understanding of the physics, or does it spoil the fun?
2.  Aesthetics of Science Practice. What aesthetics might either drive or prevent the transformation from observer to practitioner? What are the aesthetic qualities that might entice students or teachers to claim identity as scientists, even physicists?
3.  Cultural Aspects of Physics Aesthetics. The contrast of a Western reductionist approach with a holistic Eastern thought approach can be cast as a difference in aesthetic. How does one's cultural perspective influence aesthetic responses to physics?
Abstract Type: Roundtable Discussion

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jean Hertzberg
University of Colorado, Boulder
427 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dewey Dykstra, Boise State University
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kathleen Hinko, University of Colorado, Boulder
Mel Sabilla, Colorado State University
Ben Van Dusen, University of Colorado, Boulder
Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University