Quantum physicist who has gone to pot
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