UCLA professor speaks to physics students

Zoe Redlich

Professor Katsuhi Arisaka from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA came to speak to any interested students or faculty  about the creation of the universe and the scientific connections between the brain of the C. elegan and the human during break on Monday.

Arisaka began his lecture by discussing the origins of the universe.

“We came to the crazy conclusion, at the end of the twentieth century, that there was only light,” Arisaka said.

He spoke about the human mind by showing almost identical pictures of the brain and the universe and asking students to differentiate between them.

Arisaka continued to discuss the usage of C. elegans to study the human brain made possible by the peculiar similarity between the two.

“I formed an underground research with hundreds of students on campus and began to understand how our brain works, using a tiny animal called C. elegans,” Arisaka said.

Arisaka also discussed ideas of evolution of the human brain and  how a brain functions in the decision making process.

“There must be some universal principle behind this evolution from the very simple system of the photon, to the next step of particles, to the next step of molecules and eventually to the DNA of the human. This is the question I’m interested in,” Arisaka said.

Arisaka created the Elegant Mind Club at UCLA in order to study the laws of physics that define the universe and life of C. elegans, as well as educate undergraduate students on what it is like to work in a lab.. He now has around 200 students assisting him in his research.

“His work is groundbreaking and revolutionary. It really inspired me to learn more about physics,” Coco Kaleel ’20 said.