CarpInScienza: Luca Perri enchants the Municipal Theater with a show game between science and science fiction

At midnight everyone still sat trying to remember how to calculate the volume of a sphere amidst laughter, chatter and jubilation. This was the atmosphere that reigned last night at the Municipal Theater of Carpi, crowded with people and especially young people for the occasion. The prestigious room hosted the second initiative aimed at the citizens of CarpInScienza, after the inaugural one with the virologist Ilaria Capua held in the tensile structure of the Festivalfilosofia. The festival, dedicated to scientific dissemination and which will continue until 29 September with a rich program of events aimed at both citizens and students, is organized by the four high schools with the collaboration of the Nazarene Cfp. Now in its seventh edition, the festival has managed to carve out an important place on the national scene over the years. And Luca Perria young astrophysicist or “astrophysicist” (as he defines himself, joking about the lack of knowledge of his profession) is not only a guest of the festival, but “a friend” as the headmaster of the Fanti has kept us in mind Alda Barbi in introducing the evening, as he is in his fifth participation and having several appointments scheduled for this edition as well.

After an introduction entrusted to the spectacular performance of “La trottola”, an award-winning group of choreographic gymnastics from Castelfranco and coordinated by Patrizia Marlettini, the public got involved in a game along the lines of “The millionaire” by Gerry Scotti: 8 questions multiple choice to choose from by show of hands; the victors were gradually assigned a skill borrowed from those of the Jedi academy. The only rule: it is forbidden to abstain. From questions suggested by Tatooine, the planet with two suns in which the saga begins, to those on life forms inspired by the protagonists (such as Han Solo or Yoda) to questions about biomechanical prostheses “borrowed” from the characters, such as the Luke Arm, one of the most advanced mechanical arms still today. But during the evening there was also talk of the respiratory disease of Darth Vader (the famous villain) and his iconic helmet from which the Bi-Pap mask for pulmonary pathophysiologies was taken, passing through the Vortex crossed by Han Solo and which represented unwittingly a cluster of black holes, ending up with what it would cost to build the Death Star, an orbital station and weapon of mass destruction of Star Wars.

All this to say that Star Wars has inspired several scientific discoveries or has been the point of reference because, apart from demonstrating the fact that “… many scientists – joked Perri – are socially disadvantaged or nerds”, actually attests the the fact that those films entered everyone’s mind, becoming an integral part of popular culture. The same goes for “Godzilla” or “2001 A Space Odyssey” or for the Star Trek series or even for Jules Verne’s books. «Both science fiction and science require a certain amount of imagination – concluded Luca Perri -. If you think about it, scientists essentially do two things: ask themselves new questions or try to find solutions to someone else’s questions. And they do it out of simple curiosity. Never ask a scientist what his research is for. He doesn’t even know. No one would ever dream of asking the athletes of “La top” for example why they do what they do. They spread culture, and so does science. Then it is true that after many years, many discoveries find an application in everyday life and there are many examples: from mobile phones to credit cards and USB sticks. But it all starts with curiosity, so practice it. And may the force be with you ».

In the photographs: some moments of CarpInscienza in which Luca Perri, Alda Barbi and Ilaria Capua are seen. the images are by Claudia Cavazzati and Matteo Pini.

CarpInScienza: Luca Perri enchants the Municipal Theater with a show game between science and science fiction