Veltman’s Diagram

2014; Bronze;
Central Campus; Courtyard between Randall Laboratory and West Hall

This art work celebrates the award of the 1999 Nobel Prize to Martinus Veltman, U-M professor emeritus, and his student Gerard ‘t Hooft.  Veltman was recognized for his contributions to the theory of elementary particles.  This abstract sculpture derives its form from the diagrams that Veltman created to represent his methods for the intricate calculations in a theory that represents our best understanding of the elementary particles and their interactions.  In this sculpture, the long, diagonal arms call to mind the incoming and outgoing particles; the square structure in the center represents exchange processes between particles, and the curved line of penetrations derives from Veltman’s contributions to the method of calculating such interactions.  Jens Zorn, Professor Emeritus of Physics, is also the sculptor of The Short, Rich Life of Positronium and G minus 2, both located on Central Campus, as well as Off-Axis Holography, located on North Campus.