Roxbury Latin School

Newton to Einstein

“Newton to Einstein” was commissioned by the Roxbury Latin School, Roxbury, MA for their new science building. Austine worked with Physics teacher Rick Dower — who had seen and admired her Boston Museum of Science mural — to create a work of art that would address the theme of light.

The Challenge.
The inherent duality in the quality of light is a subject of great interest to Austine, since her medium is so much about light. Light acts like both a particle and a wave, a dual nature that puzzles even the greatest scientific minds. Two of the greatest scientists of human history, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, did a great deal of work on the subject of light and are thus represented in the Polage.

The Solution.
The Polage resides in the lightbox pictured above. From Newton with a candle to Einstein with a lightbulb, these great minds are represented with the subject that so interested them. The rainbow emanating from the sun is represented as a series of distinct pieces — a particle and a wave.

Behind Isaac Newton, a city skyline–Boston–can be seen, and near the lightbulb in the Einstein view, one sees a representation of the famous double slit experiment that proved that light acts as both a particle and a wave.