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Van Gogh Painted Turbulence 76

rangeva writes "Nature is reporting that Van Gogh works have a pattern of light and dark that closely follows the mathematical structure of turbulent flow. From the article: 'Vincent van Gogh is known for his chaotic paintings and similarly tumultuous state of mind. Now a mathematical analysis of his works reveals that the stormy patterns in many of his paintings are uncannily like real turbulence, as seen in swirling water or the air from a jet engine.'"
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Van Gogh Painted Turbulence

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  • Re:Newton (Score:4, Informative)

    by nuggz ( 69912 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:31AM (#15690255) Homepage
    Most people are capable of catching a ball. I'd hazard to say that the laws, or some mathematical approximation, are hard-wired into the human nervous system.

    It seems to be software actually.
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2002/18mar_play ingcatch.htm [nasa.gov]

    I'd argue that 30+ years of training makes it quite difficult to adjust, but I'm not NASA.
  • by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @09:07AM (#15690435) Homepage Journal
    If you'd have RTFA, you would have noticed that the scientists scanned *other* artists work do not exhibit the level of accuracy that Van Gogh's work does.

    "Van Gogh seems to be the only painter able to render turbulence with such mathematical precision. "We have examined other apparently turbulent paintings of several artists and find no evidence of Kolmogorov scaling," says Aragon.

    Edvard Munch's The Scream, for example, looks to be superficially full of van Gogh-like swirls, and was painted by a similarly tumultuous artist, but the luminance probability distribution doesn't fit Kolmogorov's theory.

    So, if other artists were looking at turbulence and painting it, they failed, only Van Gogh was able to do it.
  • by mrogers ( 85392 ) on Monday July 10, 2006 @10:40AM (#15691052)
    There's more information on Kolmogorov's scaling laws here [berkeley.edu], not that I understand most of it. As far as I can tell, in a turbulent system the difference between the values of a physical property at two points follows a power law [hp.com] with respect to the distance between the points; the power laws for different physical properties have different exponents, but they all seem to be multiples of a third (?).

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