DEDICATION 10:30-11:30am, Quark Park (see below attached for directions)
A dedication ceremony for John Conway’s 4-dimensional dodecahedron sculpture by Marc Pelletier will take place at Quark Park.
The sculpture is a copy of one that was presented by an anonymous donor to the Fields Mathematical Institute in Toronto to honor the 95th birthday of H.S.M. (Donald) Coxeter in February 2002. The same donor presented this sculpture to the Princeton University Mathematics Department in honor of Professor John H. Conway.
The dodecahedral sculpture is a 3-dimensional shadow, or "projection,” of the analogous 4-dimensional figure — called the "polydodecahedron" or the "120-cell" — whose 120 cells (or three-dimensional faces) are regular dodecahedra. The surface of this 5-foot diameter ball resembles a soccer ball, with 30 hexagons (split into four pentagons arising from 30 dodecahedrons which are projected onto 2-dimensional figures) and 12 pentagons, which are the faces of 12 dodecahedrons in the outer shell of the figure.
“Although the polydodecahedron is a gemlike object living in a space that is inaccessible to us,” says Conway, “we can gain some appreciation of its beauty from Marc's sculpture.”
Quark Park is an outdoor exhibition of works by more than a dozen scientists teamed with artists — Freeman Dyson contributed an installation in collaboration with US Congressman Rush Holt and architect Alan Kehrt, and Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman collaborated with sculptor Nancy Cohen.
Dyson contributed a sundial structure to Quark Park. Accompanying illustrations explain the geometry behind a sundial, and give a deeper understanding of the physics of the sun. Dyson describes his installation in saying: “This installation reflects the understanding that the basis of human time telling is the sun…A bench is provided for this observation and observers are encouraged to follow the sun’s shadow as it tracks across the wall to the west of the path; chalk is provided to mark your own observations. The installation is designed as a garden to remind us that our sun supports all of the life on earth. The shadow indicates the time of day in Eastern Standard Time, ignoring our artificial manipulations of time each summer.”
Visit the Quark Park website for further description of the installations: http://www.princetonoccasion.org/quarkpark/teambios.html