The Center is Everywhere

Por • 30 sep, 2012 • Sección: Ambiente

David H. Weinberg

Abstract: «The Center is Everywhere» is a sculpture by Josiah McElheny, currently (through October 14, 2012) on exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. The sculpture is based on data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), using hundreds of glass crystals and lamps suspended from brass rods to represent the three-dimensional structure mapped by the SDSS through one of its 2000+ spectroscopic plugplates. This article describes the scientific ideas behind this sculpture, emphasizing the principle of the statistical homogeneity of cosmic structure in the presence of local complexity. The title of the sculpture is inspired by the work of the French revolutionary Louis Auguste Blanqui, whose 1872 book «Eternity Through The Stars: An Astronomical Hypothesis» was the first to raise the spectre of the infinite replicas expected in an infinite, statistically homogeneous universe. Puzzles of infinities, probabilities, and replicas continue to haunt modern fiction and contemporary discussions of inflationary cosmology.

arXiv:1209.5113v1 [physics.pop-ph]

For related articles see arXiv:1006.1012 and arXiv:1006.1013

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