Friday September 22nd 2017

The value of a good science hack

F1.mediumPhysicist Matt Bellis attended his first Science Hack Day in the fall of 2010, in Palo Alto, California. Like many scientists attending the event for the first time, Bellis was skeptical. “Hacking,” after all, is usually left to computer programmers.

 However, Bellis, at the time a postdoctoral researcher at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, had an idea that wasn’t exactly typical for SLAC: He had a trove of experimental particle physics data that he wanted to somehow turn into sound, and he thought that music and computer specialists, among others, could help. A friend urged him to attend Science Hack Day. Once there, he spent a Saturday morning describing his proposal, and, by the afternoon, an interdisciplinary team of programmers, scientists, artists, and others joined him in a 24-hour quest to make electron–positron collisions sing.
Read more about Science Hack Days at PNAS, here.

 

Related Tags:

More from category

Predicting the whirlwind
Predicting the whirlwind

  In more than 20 years as a meteorologist, Joshua Wurman had seen – and chased – more than 150 tornadoes. But [Read More]

How Bose–Einstein condensates keep revealing weird physics
How Bose–Einstein condensates keep revealing weird physics

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), the first of which was shown experimentally 22 years ago, isn’t your garden variety [Read More]

Seeking a Second Opinion
Seeking a Second Opinion

In November 2012, when she was 52 years old, Shannon Semple was diagnosed with a disease she didn’t have. She credits [Read More]

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life
How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

In his 1944 book What is Life?, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger argued that organisms stay alive precisely by [Read More]

The return of supersolids!
The return of supersolids!

We learn it from a young age: solids hold their shapes; liquids flow. Physical states of matter are mutually exclusive. [Read More]

Archives