Physics with a bit of fantasy,
 almost…a fairy tale!

" … È tutta armata dentro di ferri, perché sì gran globo non se reggeria da par se …
… il quale è fatto con invenzion nuova talmente, che con un sol dito si gran macchina se muove per tutti i versi

These words were pronounced in 1500 by Monsignor Egnazio Danti with reference to his innovative metal-framed spinning globe.  They sparked off a desire to discover what was actually inside this magnificent globe on display in one of the rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

In July 2005, with support of the Authority for Cultural Assets of Florence and the Municipality of Florence, the "X-ray Imaging" research group at the Physics Department, Bologna University, carried out a "CAT" on the globe.

Let's see what they found out …

   Monsignor Egnazio and the CAT of his globe  

(Credit: "X-ray Imaging" Research Group, Physic Dept. Dipartimento di Fisica, Bologna University)

F. Casali    

"Once upon a time there was a king…". So started the tales that granny used to tell us when we were young. "Once upon a time there was a particle…", might be the start of this story, where particles bustle, live, "love", annihilate, and, speaking together, tell us about the Universe and its laws.
This story is the author's attempt to make some concepts of modern Physics understandable for non-experts through an easy, amusing tale. It's a mix of reality (with sub-nuclear particles as protagonists) and fantasy (humanizing the particles by creating "pretty, young, girl-electrons" or "old electrons"…), all the while the reader will be guided and will learn to distinguish one from the other.

Perhaps also a simple story like this could help to develop our imagination. Perhaps also a fanciful, "old-fashioned" fairy tale could be useful in encouraging young people to be interested in what Science can tell us about the mysteries of the Cosmos.

   The tale of the young girl-electron who went to a party

Fanciful story in a World "at the speed of the light"

    Story from "C'era una volta una particella…", by Franco Saporetti (Ed. CLUEB Bologna, october 2003: )

(Credit: "Focus extra 7, 2001, 88")


F. Saporetti

The Webweavers: Last modified Tue, 13 Jul 2005 11:10:29 GMT