written and directed by Darren Aronofsky,
will be screened this Friday (May 2).
The theme for our May films is, “The Universe in Three Acts”, and each of the three films we are discussing this month deals with a particular approach to trying to understand the fundamental nature of our universe. Those of us who have been to The Grand Cinema to see Particle Fever (closes on Thursday so don’t delay if you have not yet seen it), saw one approach: Empirical Science. The physicists depicted in that documentary were using sophisticated equipment to manipulate and make measurements of physical particles.
But the origins of some truths about properties of our physical universe come, not from empirical observations, but from the nonphysical realm of ideas. For example, there are many historical examples where the seemingly mysterious operation of mathematical equations makes predictions about properties of the universe that later turn out to be correct. To give just one example, Dirac found mathematical solutions to a set of equations that were thought to represent physical reality, but his solutions required negative values. When a few scientists conjectured that these mathematical solutions might actually apply within the realm of the physical world, the physicist Heisenberg characterized those ideas as coming from “the saddest day in the history of physics.” Then antimatter was discovered.
Going as far back as the Pythagorean School in ancient Greece, there was a belief that what is ultimately real has to do with perfect mathematical ideas, not the physical universe. And some mathematical concepts, such as Pi, are irrational! So this week we invite you to come along for an irrational ride as we watch Darren Aronofsky’s film Pi (1998). And for the math-phobic, we promise, no mathematical equations will need to be solved to enjoy this film.
We will be screening Pi this Friday (May 2) at 7:15pm at The Center for Spiritual Living (CSL), located at 206 South J Street, at the corner of Division & J, across from the Group Health Hospital. Come early at 6:30 pm and join us for socializing before the screening. Feel free to bring food (appetizers) and drink (including wine) to share. And bring along your irrational friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, cinephiles, science geeks, and others to watch Pi on CSL’s new, improved projection equipment.