The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night" – Natalya St. Clair

The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night" – Natalya St. Clair

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Physicist Werner Heisenberg said, “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” As difficult as turbulence is to understand mathematically, we can use art to depict the way it looks. Natalya St. Clair illustrates how Van Gogh captured this deep mystery of movement, fluid and light in his work.

Lesson by Natalya St. Clair, animation by Avi Ofer.


  1. Archie Woosung on June 3, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    Shouldn’t the second ‘g’ be pronounced in "Van Gogh"? i.e. more like ‘Gog’ than ‘Go’!

  2. Darth Mage Productionz on June 3, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    I loved the piece that depicted a chemistry teacher transforming into the emotionless Heisenburg

  3. Greek Veteran on June 3, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    What’s turbulence please? can anybody translate the meaning, describing it in English (or Greek if he’s Greek)

  4. M S Japan on June 3, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Poor Vincent. How could be saved from his sufferings?

  5. Juan Li on June 3, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    The narration for this though, the descriptions are beautiful.

  6. Teresa Yeates on June 3, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you for this. Forgive me for adding, it is Van Gogh, Gough as in cough.

  7. Anthony Fowler on June 3, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    Very insightful and interesting points regarding “Turbulent Flow” and the theory therein. Your history of Vincent is just that, Just theory!

  8. Retired Engineer on June 3, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    All just a bunch of BS. What’s next? The hole perfectly fits the puddle? It’s observable so there is no reason to believe Van Gogh used or knew of any mathematics when he painted.

  9. Newwing on June 3, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Breaking bad refference

  10. Park Jimin😏 on June 3, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    To me starry nights look like my view without glasses. -6.5 in both eyes

  11. Tinyentemayor Gilas on June 3, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    All the intelligence puting inside our tiny brain

  12. Grandma of Rexford on June 3, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    He didn’t paint from his bedroom, instead he painted from memory in the room that was his studio.

  13. goodartist characters on June 3, 2023 at 1:08 pm
  14. Bill Mulford on June 3, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    What?!!!!!!!!!!! Very cool.

  15. Christina Escajeda on June 3, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    I like art, actually. I love art one day 💗

  16. Jannette Berends on June 3, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Van Gogh is pronounced van gog. It irritates me that you do a whole video about a picture of him, without finding out how to pronounce his name.

  17. frogandspanner on June 3, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Please, Please, Please try to pronounce van Gogh close to its Brabant pronunciation (I originate from there). The pronunciation in this bears almost no similarity to the correct regional pronunciation – except for the ‘n’ in ‘van’ being almost right. (Note: _van_ starts with a lower case _v_ ). For a start you could try pronouncing the _o_ in _Gogh_ as a short _o_ rather than a long one.

  18. Rachel on June 3, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    I’m still convinced van Gogh had awful myopia and astigmatism. Starry Night is just how I see the world when I take my glasses off.

  19. Peter McMurray on June 3, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    This makes the most sense I have ever come across. It fits perfectly with Music that is simply the turbulence of air and responds most strongly with the 5:3 ratio.

  20. Lambadajew O. on June 3, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    I know that this is old, but I realized – for some reason, Van Gogh’s art helps me clear my mind when my mental health is really poor. It’s strange, considering his tragic story. But for a reason I do not comprehend, it soothes me.

  21. JDF on June 3, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    Do you suppose VG actually saw the world differently?

  22. Maya Ganpat on June 3, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    The strobo-effect is very annoying… For people who suffer from epilepsia not to stand. Can’t watch until the end, even without epilepsy. 😱
    Sad. Because the title sounded interesting.

  23. Steve Weingart on June 3, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    The town was normal and the sky was wild and moving.
    I wonder if it was windy then.

  24. Lauren Thomas on June 3, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Oh I can explain turbulence. 😂

  25. Win风 on June 3, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    using technology to explain art will go far from the art

  26. BGTuyau on June 3, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    Interesting perspective on art, interesting research. Now I have to work on understanding …

  27. Robert Arisz on June 3, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    Let’s not praise Vincent for ‘inventing’ this – he was a cursed mind for seeing how things were. Pity the rest of the world was not there at the right time…

  28. a a on June 3, 2023 at 1:24 pm


  29. georgerikken on June 3, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    I think… he painted a short period of light ; our lives , just a little moment in the dark universe..

  30. Mama- -Rua on June 3, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    The art is inspired by God the brain is the receiver it’s quite straight forward always the missing element in science is Infinite intelligence the source of all things. It is our intuition our inspiration it is the path migrating animals follow. It is the source of all life.

  31. HMK on June 3, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    I think he just had bad eye sight and that’s how stars looked to him this could be a theory who knows 🤷‍♀️

  32. Ausome Aspie on June 3, 2023 at 1:28 pm


  33. Thomas Macon on June 3, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    Vortex Patterns

  34. lily on June 3, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    Imma just cry…

  35. GOYA on June 3, 2023 at 1:34 pm

    I’m an English learner and this is so helpful for me!

  36. Juan Li on June 3, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    I thought this was gonna about the golden ratio

  37. Jamandiin Savkhlan on June 3, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Definition of reading into it.

  38. gigawatt beehot09 on June 3, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Be honest , Van Goch was a Sick by Ménière’s disease .
    This disease’s symptom and an Goch’s symptoms are according .
    Because , he was Ménière’s disease .
    Ménière’s disease is known that happens by Stresses .
    Van Goch had had stresses a lot in his life , almost something financial problems .
    And , it was 19th century , now a day , we know diseases what kind of sick or illness or disease by Medical studies , but , at 19th century , people had believed God by Christianity with ‘ Spiritual ‘ things , Not Science .
    Art things people doesn’t want to believe Can Goch was something in ‘ Disease ‘ , it was his talent ? they want to believe .
    But , I like to see paintings at museums , Be Honest , Science is Science .
    Van Goch’s talent includes his Sick , whole his life .
    Art people shouldn’t be afraid of Can Goch was Ménière’s disease .
    It was a pert of his life .

  39. lizza on June 3, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    need new narrator STAT! the mansplaining is strong with this one

  40. Aantara on June 3, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    It’s wonderful that the animation is inspired by Van Gogh’s art 💫

  41. Stuart of Blyth on June 3, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    Big whirls have little whirls
    That feed on their velocity,
    And little whirls have lesser whirls,
    And so on to viscosity.
    (Lewis Fry Richardson)

  42. liontamer67 on June 3, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    We learned of Eddies in Meterology class in college. But never about Eddies in stars in Astronomy class

  43. friedfish69 on June 3, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    In much of the voice-over, what we get is a string of insufficiently explanatory assertions. This might be a string of actual facts. It might be artsy pseudo-scientific quackery. No way to tell, and that might be the point.

    Slow down. Dwell on points long enough to convey understanding. This kitchen sink stuff is tedious.

  44. Muskan on June 3, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Good video 👍

  45. Ryan Johnson on June 3, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Lead poisoning also exhibits the symptom of rings around light sources in ones vision. It was common among painters to shape the tip of a paintbrush using their mouth.

  46. Chamath Anupiya Loku Bogahawatta on June 3, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Maybe he knew it, maybe he didn’t. But he saw it!

  47. Farhan Noor on June 3, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Real creativity is an encounter with something.
    – The Courage to Create

  48. Sergey D on June 3, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Americans have mispronounced almost every Slavic name, sometimes it seems they are doing it on purpose. 😀
    The name Kolmogorov has emphasis on the third syllable, not the second.

  49. TexMex53 on June 3, 2023 at 1:52 pm


  50. Addie Atkins on June 3, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    I feel like episodes like Van Goghs shows the interwoven reality of the world where our brains seem to know things they can’t even articulate and can even reveal them but sometimes only when we are semi detached from the world

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