Thursday April 27th 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

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]

Making a match
Making a match

In the summer of 2012, Carole Baker’s oncologist told her she was eligible to join a clinical trial just getting [Read More]

The Riddle of Bacteria and Cancer
The Riddle of Bacteria and Cancer

The human body teems with bacteria. These micro-organisms live on the skin, in mucus membranes, on the eyes and in the [Read More]

The wild weirdness of topological insulators
The wild weirdness of topological insulators

For more than 200 years, physicists have wanted to understand why electricity flows through some materials and not [Read More]

Archives