Laser artist beaming with excitement for festival

University of WA physics professor David Blair with his laser art contraption. Picture: Matt Jelonek d441270
University of WA physics professor David Blair with his laser art contraption. Picture: Matt Jelonek d441270

IN UWA physics professor David Blair�s Guildford lounge room sits an array of eccentric contraptions which turn the science of lasers into an artistic lightshow.

Clocks, aquariums, windscreen wiper motors and teapots � all combed from local op-shops � are used to make the machines that distort light and explain science using art.

While his lounge room light show may seem appropriate for a rave, they will actually be used as a teaching aid at this month�s Gingin Science Festival.

�It was 40 years after Einstein�s prediction about lasers that scientists actually made them,� he said.

The festival is also a tribute to Einstein, celebrating the centenary of his General Theory of Relativity and the International Year of Light.

The painstakingly made light machines will be on display at the Gravity Discovery Centre.

�It doesn�t take me long to come up with ideas but it takes a long time to make something that is robust and will last a long time,� he said.

Prof Blair said he hopes his creations can inspire people in the same way he was as a child.

�When I was a kid, the space race had just started and I was completely fascinated when the first Sputnik went up,� he said.

�We lived on a farm in Albany and I said to my dad: �I don�t want to be a farmer, I want to be a scientist�.�

His career as a gravity expert earnt him WA Scientist of the Year in 2007.

Prof Blair�s art installation, titled Coherence to Chaos, will debut at the Gingin Science Festival from August 14 until September 19.

For more information, visit www.ginginsciencefestival.com.au.