ITI “V.E.MARZOTTO” of Valdagno (VI) and


present the exhibition



from 16th October to 27th November 2016

Event included in the official celebrations for the 15th Anniversary of the relations between Japan and Italy

with the support of:


and the patronage of:


Museum of Textile Machinery

at Istituto Tecnico Industriale “V.E.Marzotto”

Via Carducci, 9 – Valdagno (VI)

0445 401007


Saturday-Sunday: 10.00am – 1.00pm      and 3.00pm – 6.00pm

during the week: only on appointment (0445 401007)

Extra-openings Monday 31 October and Tuesday 1 November (10.00am – 1.00pm and 3.00pm – 6.00pm)


The idea for the exhibition comes from a great discovery of 14th September 2015: the sperimental proof of the existence of gravitational waves, already foreseen by Einstein a century ago.

This event shows the importance of the process through which science develops its knowledge:

1. Theoretical hypothesis

2. Looking for the consequences of the hypothesis ( if….then…)

3. Planning of tests to assess or confute the hypothesis

4. Carrying out a test either confirming (the hypothesis already become a theory) or the decay of the initial hypothesis

N.B. In a possible far future, if a thousand experiences have confirmed a theory, and the
first after thousands denies it, the theory itself will decay .

This means that this method can explain only what is false and not what is true!
This exhibition is meant to show the capability of Science among all the sectors of the knowledge (Philosophy, Religion etc.) to produce assessments of the results previously obtained at theoretical level. The connection we are trying to establish with the traditional Japanese culture – in particular with the 17th century Edo period,( Edo being the ancient name of Tokyo) – is due to the fact that many advanced physical concepts are nearer the Tao culture than western philosophical traditions.
In this case, the waves, wonderfully reproduced by master Hokusai, have been an extraordinary inspiration for a bridge drawn between great Art and great Science, two outstanding peculiarities of the human mind which must overcome the distinction of different fields for experts and must find, now more than ever, a connecting point .

The floating word of Hokusai

Classic Japanese philosophy (unlike  western philosophy, i.e. Plato) sees the basic reality in its continuous changing.The ever mutable world that our senses perceive is the only reality;  awareness of this fundamental condition for our existence should not be a reason to despair, it should rather invite to a vital activity in the present moment and  to be grateful for the time that has been given to us..

“Living every single moment, addressing completely to the moon, to the snow, to the cherry blossoms and to the maple red leaves, singing songs, drinking sake, soothing themselves forgetting the real things, without worrying about the poverty around us, without being discouraged , being like an empty pumpkin that floats on the water stream: all this, I call ukyio.”

Asai Ryōi, Stories from the floating world (Ukiyo monogatari – 1662)

Not stability, then, but continuous oscillation and  changing are the main principles of existence for the Japanese culture. Physics, among all the experimental sciences, has always well understood how the concept of wave – completely linked to the concept of particle, as we will see  – is the key to understand the true reality: a reality which is no more “solid” and immutable, but changeable and – maybe – untouchable in its deepest level.

The nature of waves

In Physics we call “wave” an oscillatory phenomenon in which there is an energy transfer without a transfer of matter. Imagine a rope, stretched on one end and where you hold the other end: a vertical stroke on the rope produces a movement (wave) that propagates from one end to the other without a real shift of the rope. This is the list of the fundamental parameters of a wave:

Amplitude (A): this is the maximum distance of the wave from its equilibrium.

Wavelenght (λ): the distance covered by the wave during a full vibration.

Period (T): the period T of a wave is the time that elapses to complete a vibration.

Frequency (f): the number of vibration cycles per second.

Velocity of propagation (v): it is the ratio λ/T.

Types of waves
In traditional Physics we have two types of waves:
– mechanic (they need a medium through which propagate)
– electromagnetic ( vibrations of fields E. and M., they propagate quite well in the vacuum.
In the first category we have , for example, sound waves and seismic waves (earthquakes)
in the second we have light, radio waves, X rays and Gamma rays (they differ only for the frequency : the bigger it is, the more energy the related waves carry).

Gravitational waves

In Einstein’s vision, space and time as separate dimensions were definitely abandoned for a new four-dimension structure (spacetime) that bends around the objects with mass and can change form throughout time : the gravitational waves. They represent the propagation at the light speed of small ripples in the curve of spacetime. The gravitational waves perturb the spacetime modifying locally the curve value ( the gravitational field).
During their propagation, gravitational waves produce tidal forces which change the position of the objects, just like the tidal forces produced by the Moon on the Earth cause the shifting of the liquid surfaces.
The gravitational waves are continuously produced every time a mass-energy is moved, so even now. The astrophisic objects able to produce relevant gravitational waves are the black holes, the neutron stars and the pulsars, near them the spacetime curve reaches the highest possible peaks.
The gravitational radiation is even bigger when it is emitted by a binary system of neutron stars, or of black holes, which, moving in a spiral way towards the common mass nucleus, release a huge amount of energy. Sources like these release , in form of gravitational waves, in just some milliseconds, the energy that hundreds stars like our Sun emit in 10billion years, their whole existence.
The study of gravitational waves lets open a new window on the Universe, giving information impossible through different ways and it will be the basis for new discoveries revealing a Universe which has been hidden in the darkness up to now.

The exhibition

The exhibition shows images and literary texts dedicated to Japan (17th century in particular ) in posters and videos which explain the general nature of  waves – in particular gravitational waves and presents some experiences concerning the waves (with the contribution of our school departments).