PHYS 495 :: Physics Illinois :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Welcome to Where the Arts meet Physics!

Weekly Class Meetings: Mondays 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Default Location: 222 Loomis Laboratory

Weekly Project Time: Wednesdays 3:00-3:50pm
Default Location: 276 Loomis Laboratory

Instructor: Prof. Smitha Vishveshwara (
Co-Instructor: Prof. Stephen Taylor (

TAs: Nina Bielinski (
        Azel Murzabekova (

Course Description

Outer space

From ancient monuments, such as Roman arches and Indian and Mayan astronomical observatories, to modern day productions, such as The 2001 Space Odyssey and Copenhagen, the confluence of the arts and physics has resulted in the most incredible of human creations. The creations have led to a deeper understanding of nature, to giving the arts a new dimension, to friendly and enchanting ways of perceiving science in action, to tremendous technological progress…and to pure fun!

In this course, students will gain exposure to the marvelous ways in which science has joined hands with a broad spectrum of the arts, inclusive of the visual arts, theater, music, literature, and more, and to the marvelous creations that have emerged from this synergy.  Going beyond analyzing this synergy, students will become creators themselves by using the knowledge gained in the course, forming teams having both arts and physics students, learning from one another, and  working on projects that result in mini-productions using their choice of media.

The class will form exciting connections to on-going art-science ventures, including connecting with dance collaborator Rebecca Nettl-Fiol and with a performance piece entitled Quantum Voyages involving theater collaborator Latrelle Bright.


Interest in Physics and the Arts; Some working knowledge (sophomore level or equivalent) of either physics or a field in the Arts; Willingness to learn a new discipline and work in teams; Enthusiasm and initiative.


For the Krannert Art Museum exhibit created by a past year's class on the Universe, the Quantum World, and Flows please visit