MASTHEAD: The collage of images, from upper left, includes 1) quarks and
leptons, the two basic constituents of matter; 2) mathematical equations for Newton’s universal law of gravity describing one of the four fundamental interactions in nature; Schrodinger’s equation, which describes all the wave-like properties of matter and is used to find allowed energy levels in quantum mechanical systems; Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which describes the movement of particles in a unified “spacetime”; and an equation for a string unification theory, a recent attempt to answer the question of what the world is made of; and 3) the binary numerical system used internally by virtually all modern computers. The Latin phrase, fiat lux, commonly translated in English as Let there be light, is adapted from the Greek phrase, which in turn is taken from the Hebrew. It appears in the poetic, starkly simple opening of Genesis (1:3), the bibical narrative of God’s creation of the universe.
Credits: © Laguna Design/Photo Researchers, Inc., equations from The equations: icons of knowledge by Sander Bais, © Mike Agliolo/Photo Researchers, Inc.