By James Dacey
The Higgs boson…dark matter…nanotechnology…exoplanets…quantum computing…black holes. Physics is an incredibly exciting and diverse field. But with such vast quantities of information available these days (thanks to the Internet) you can sometimes feel like you’re drowning in an ever-increasing flow of ideas, facts and figures. Sometimes, all you really want is a concise overview of a topic by someone who really does know what they are talking about. Our new series of videos on physicsworld.com could be the answer to your prayers.
100 Second Science is a series of short films where, as the name suggests, scientists have up to 100 seconds to answer some of the biggest and most intriguing questions in physics. Presenters are armed with nothing more than a whiteboard and a set of marker pens, and we really are strict about the timing. In fact, when recording the films, presenters were faced with a countdown clock that sounded an alarm once their 100 seconds were up, making the experience that bit more exhilarating/nerve-racking.
Topics covered in our first batch of films cover a wide spectrum of physics and its related disciplines. Among the questions answered by specialists are “What is supersymmetry?”, “How does quantum teleportation work?” and “How do you recognize a penguin in a crowd?”. In filming and producing the videos we certainly learned a lot and we hope that you will too. And the scientists also appeared to take a lot from the experience. Several of them commented about what a vast departure it was from their usual experiences of presenting: standing in front of students and lecturing for an hour or so.
In the future, we hope to record more of these films. So if there are any questions or topics that you would really like to be addressed, then please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.