10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid

– Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand 10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid (2009 – Rus, Bel)col., sound, 2’52”
A vacuum or a semi-vacuum contains within gravity and temperature sensitive elastic skin: the background of an early universe, a soap bubble and later, that of a biological membrane. In 10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid, Domnitch and Gelfand use laser lights to analyze the surfaces of the soap bubble clusters that nucleate and then dissipate. Unlike ordinary light, the laser beam is capable of piercing the micro and nano structures of the bubble’s skin. When aimed at specific angles, such light generates a large-scale projection of molecular interactions as well as unimaginable phenomena of non-linear optics. Soap bubble behaviours observed in such closeness recalls the dynamics of living cells (whose lipid membranes are chemical descendants of soap films). At the Lebedev Physics Institude in Moscow, scientists Y. Stoilov and A. Startsev have recently discovered that a laser beam passing through a soap film can surprisingly split into more channels one micron thick (polariton/spatial solitons), which neither diverge from their trajectories nor interfere with one another upon an intersection. These optical trails, acting as antennae for the waves confining light, are shaped and lengthened by the laser beam. It is possible that the laser maximizes through dielectrophoresis refractive index of up to the convergence of the light within. The system behaves like “a high-performance optical computer provided with a gigantic parallel processor composed by billions of cells guiding the laser beam” (Stoilov; Phys.-Ups 47, 2004).

Courtesy of the artists