Episodes – Carlo Rovelli and the meaning of science – the comedic dimension

Episodes – Carlo Rovelli and the meaning of science – the comedic dimension

Can an encounter with a physicist ten years ago motivate the writer to talk about his relationship with science and reality?

Of course yes. Especially if you are an artist and Multidisciplinary mediator like Luca Pozziand whether physical fitness Charles RovelliHe is also one of the most famous scholars among the general public for his famous books that were true best seller.

from 2004, episodes It is the name of quantum gravity conferences because I am episodes It is also one of the possible solutions that theorists are looking for to combine gravity and quantum mechanics. Pozzi is a passionate researcher of complex topics, from which he creates communication ‘products’. And this time that product was a comic book with the exact title episodes.

The author proceeded, as he himself says in the introduction, from the fact of this

Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli once told me that the world is made of webs of kisses, not of stones.

Then suggest it Elissa MacellariHis partner in art and life, to translate his dreams into drawings and pages. Elisa Massellari is an Italian-Thai designer and illustrator whose work wonderfully blends the structure of Western comics with a style reminiscent of Southeast Asia, even more so when the story takes place there and begins with a piece of dialogue. naive Between the physicist and the writer.

After all, in fact, attempts to bring together the two extremes of physical theories, those that deal with infinite smallness, ie quantum mechanics, and those that operate on a large scale, ie gravity, are still deeply theoretical, and difficult to understand even in their general character.

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However, Luca Pozzi also seriously studies the physical part, and in fact we find it in the Confessions Lee Smolin, Abhay Ishtekar, Danielle Oriti And Eugene Bianchiall leading physicists in the field of quantum gravity research.

Among a very large (and very difficult) tract of physics and mathematics, Luca Pozzi stands out as a true plasticine novel in which Rovelli becomes Guiding spiritthe Dantesque Virgil On the way out of the hell of incompatibility between macroscopic and microscopic theories.

The location of Southeast Asia is ideal for the combination of science, mathematics, cosmology (understood in a scientific and philosophical sense) and the art of Pozzi/Macellari. After recounting the stages of his passion for physics, and how he entered into a relationship with Novelli, the wide-ranging dialogue begins.

Start by asking What is science?

A journey consisting of quotations, interpretations, and the interpretation of science as a change of perspective for the reader also begins. Starting with Anaximander, passing through Plato, combining Thales with the arrow of time, and trying to find a synthesis between the two most important theories in modern physics with the help of Wheeler And her

That’s a bit.

In fact, the gravitational loop theory holds that these are minimal elements of space-time, and the universe is an outgrowth of that Relations Of these entities. Therefore, the center of science and reality becomes information.

Using microscopic examples and similes, Pozzi proposes the concepts announced by Rovelli, with a scenario that is not a true story, but in some situations becomes a series of illustrations in which the dialogue between the two characters becomes a commentary.

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For this reason, apart from the “real” journey of Rovelli and Pozzi leaving the jungle and bodily moving between temples, rivers, and caves, the comic runs through settings that constantly change after the words of the two protagonists.

The same thing happens with the drawn pages, whose structure is to serve what happens in the dialogue and the almost dreamy path between the two. Thus we pass easily from the plain caged pages, which are in most cases where the “real” movements of the two heroes are reported, to double pages containing a single illustration graphically representing the concepts expressed in the speeches.

To these are added mixed pages with small circular or irregular inscriptions as well. For her ending They are not obvious fillers, but often express real changes of scenery within the individual pages. Other times the cartoon “floats” on a background connected to the dialogue comments, always carrying out the “real” journey described in the storyboard with the “content” and relationship journey in parallel.

Illustrations are often figurative and do not “tell” the contents, but rather form the background for captions in balloons, not representing concepts, but interpreting them with individual illustrations or short sequences. After the initial chapter, which is mainly narrative and introduces Pozzi’s relationship with physics and between the two heroes, the story and graphics move to another level.

Elena Macellari, with her very clean style, with an almost clear line, even if with some shadows, presents the content very well. She also appears in the storyboard, in an initial discussion with Luca Pozzi about how to represent strings.

She naturally follows the screenwriter’s suggestions, her style allowing her to move from the realistic story to the part we have identified as more explanatory, using different metaphors with ease.

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of these more natural, related to the jungle or gibbon, to the more traditional ones, with dragons and Buddha, up to the scientific ones, with abstract representations of concepts. Sometimes they overlap and mix. Even with realistic pictures that help a lot in understanding the concepts.

He also “supplied” the lines for the balloons.

The colors themselves, mostly between red and green, give a nice, simple yet sophisticated combination.

A truly interesting work, bringing together one of the most famous scientists, ready and interested to reveal, even the philosophical basis of science, and two meticulous and passionate authors, also for each other, being husband and wife, who managed to put on paper ideas and concepts that are not at all elementary.

And with enviable clarity.

But this does not end. However, the difficulty of the topics not only allows you to have multiple levels of reading, but also allows you to find something new with each reading. A reader who maintains the same level can always find new stimuli in individual topics.
Even the graphic part has the same feature of revealing its treasures in a slow release. The clarity of the graphics is not trivial, and in turn reveals its beauty in successive passes.

in episodes next. accurately.

Highly recommended.

Luca Pozzi, Elisa Macellari
Pau Publications, 2023
168 pages, colour, hardcover, 17 x 23 cm, €23.00
ISBN: 978-88-3273-829-2

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