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Einstein world record, Spider-Man physics, quantum films and cakes


By Sarah Tesh and James Dacey

A world-record-breaking hoard of Albert Einsteins invaded Toronto in Canada on Tuesday 28 March. 404 people gathered in the city’s MaRS Discovery District dressed in the genius’s quintessential blazer and tie, and sporting bushy white wigs and fluffy mustaches. As well as breaking the previous Guinness World Record of 99 Einsteins, the gathering kicked off this year’s Next Einstein Competition. The online contest invites the public to submit ideas that can make the world a better place and awards the winner $10,000 to help them realize it.

Twitter saw a flux of some science-themed cakes this week.  @realscientists contributed some tasty-looking baked goods including an edible diffraction pattern, a ribosome and an electron density map. Meanwhile, UK schools also had science themed bake sales as part of British Science Week. I personally feel science should always be communicated in cake form. I’m sure interest, as well as our waistlines, would grow.

Physics has once again come to a superhero’s rescue. In anticipation of the film Spider-Man: Homecoming, Rhett Allain decided to analyse the hero’s 6 m long jump that happens about one minute into the trailer. By doing video analysis, Allain roughly estimated the scales and speeds from a few frames of film, and proved Spider-Man could make the jump. So really, physics is the true superhero.

Quantum mechanics has always held a mystique that inspires both scientists and artists alike. Filmmakers are given the opportunity to unite the art and the science of the quantum world in the “Quantum Shorts” film competition – an annual competition organized by the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. This year’s winner was announced this week: Novae by Thomas Vanz, a filmmaker based in Paris. It’s a stunning visualization depicting what happens when a giant star explodes, moving from supernova through to the formation of a black hole. Remarkably, Vanz apparently created the film by firing ink into an aquarium located in his garage. For more information on this year’s prize, see the competition’s website.

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