Quan­tum physi­cist who has gone to pot

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JENNI FRAZER

IN THE last year of his PhD, the Is­raeli the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist Na­dav Drukker found him­self study­ing all hours. “I was work­ing 24/7. I needed some dis­trac­tion,” he says.

That dis­trac­tion took the un­likely form of pots and vases. Dr Drukker de­vel­oped a fas­ci­na­tion with ce­ram­ics and, when he is not delv­ing into the mys­ter­ies of string the­ory and quan­tum physics, he is at the pot­ter’s wheel in his artist’s stu­dio in Brix­ton, south Lon­don. His work is to go on show in an ex­hi­bi­tion at a lo­cal gallery. Jerusalem-born Dr Drukker gained his PhD in Cal­i­for­nia in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the 2004 No­bel Prize win­ner, David Gross. To­gether they dis­cov­ered that cre­at­ing ce­ram­ics was the per­fect way to spend their down-time, and Dr Drukker con­tin­ued pro­duc­ing beau­ti­ful pots while pur­su­ing his sci­en­tific ca­reer in Copen­hagen and Ber­lin,. He spent two years back in Is­rael with the

Na­dav Drukker Pot adorned with sci­en­tific for­mu­lae

renowned Ein Hod pot­ter, Doron Ja­coby, be­fore com­ing to Lon­don six years ago.

Now, he di­vides his time between work­ing as a re­search sci­en­tist at King’s Col­lege, Lon­don, and his stu­dio.

All his pots are in­spired by his re­search, and the dec­o­ra­tions are based on the cal­cu­la­tions used in his physics projects.

“When I tell peo­ple I am a the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist”, he says, “they are put off. When they see the ce­ram­ics they un­der­stand a lit­tle more.”

He adds: “Ac­tu­ally, al­though peo­ple think it’s the ce­ram­ics that are the cre­ative thing, the re­search that we do is much more cre­ative. In mak­ing the pots, I wanted to mir­ror the creativity of the re­search and make things which re­lated to the physics, be­cause it is dif­fi­cult to com­mu­ni­cate that creativity from the re­search work that we do.

‘Quan­tum Ce­ram­ics’ is at the Knight Webb Gallery, Brix­ton, from March 17

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