Adventures of an artist travelling obliquely through physics
Experimental short films made in the first couple of years of the project, exploring: Nature, Discovery and Experiments.
The history of the universe and our place within it is a great story to share with everyone, bringing wonder and perspective to our lives. In this silent film, we use coloured pencil drawings to tell the tale of the first light. This light, released when the universe was young, bathes us still and tells us so much about our world.
Story and compositions by Geraldine Cox and Mike Tarbutt. Drawings by Geraldine Cox. With thanks to Alan Heavens and Andrew Jaffe for their expert input. Photographic credit: Cosmic Microwave Background, from the European Space Agency, Planck Satellite 2013.
About this ubiquitous phenomenon that we find at every scale and the clues it may hold for happiness.
Selected for screening at the 6th annual Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, 2013.
Sweet pendula hanging from the same piece of horizontal cotton thread exchange energy with each other by vibrations passed through the thread. Two pendula will 'talk' when they share the same length and therefore have the same frequency of oscillation. When notes match in this way we call it resonance.
Resonance runs through the natural world explaining for example the sound of musical instruments and the colour of all things.
A short film about the character of the tiny pieces of matter and light that make up our world and the equation that describes them. Part of www.madecurious.com.
Thank you to physicists:
Mike Tarbutt - concepts, story and calculation of atomic frequencies. Simon Hutchinson - transcription of atomic frequencies into sound. Peter Török - loan of laboratory and experiment for photographing interference imagery.
Life seen through different eyes: A wintry afternoon in West London. Shot with a thermal imaging camera which detects infra red light waves that our eyes don't see.
A short film that trys to capture the essential features of Nature at the smallest scales where happenings are quite different to our human scale experience. Please visit this article for more information.
Selected for screening at the Naughton Gallery, Queens University, Belfast in the exhibition 'Action at a Distance', 2014.
Nature begins to recognise itself
A poem documentary about humans and discovery, drawing upon experiences and conversations with physicists at Imperial College London. The title is a quote by physicist Victor Weisskopf.
Credits: Cosmic background radiation: Nasa http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/; Galaxies: The Herschel Atlas Consortium http://www.h-atlas.org/; The sun today: Nasa http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime-images.html; Bose Einstein Condensate - film of cold rubidium cloud being loaded into an atom chip made in the laboratory of of : Ben Yuen, Joe Cotter, Imperial College London; Scientist's notation - string theory - extract from 28 pages examining the dynamics of a graviton in the vicinity of a black hole: Dan Waldram, Imperial College.
Using physicists' notes made on whatever they happened to have at hand - napkins, scraps of paper, newspaper... These fragments were photographed with a range of cameras and a microscope to reveal another world. They portray a myriad of ideas: thoughts on building and using quantum computers; musings about the foundations of quantum mechanics and non-locality; discussions of toy physical theories which are neither quantum nor classical but have features of both; an idea for a new type of microscope; ideas regarding the initial amount and type of energy in the early universe and a proposal for small reversals of the arrow of time.
With thanks to Peter Torok for the use of his laboratory and microscope and Terry Rudolph and colleagues for the notes.
Selected for screening at the 6th annual Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, 2013 and at the 4th Contemporary Science Film Festival in Moscow 2014.
Film by Geraldine Cox and Jonathan Halliwell, Professor in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College.
Images are from Jonathan's lectures series: 'The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics' and Jonathan's overtone singing was recorded in the eleven storey stairwell of the Physics Department
"Finding Patterns" portrays humans and their discoveries with drawings made in lectures.
Soundtrack: JOHANN STRAUSS: The Blue Danube - Waltz. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Georg Szell, conductor. HMV 78rpm disc C.2686 (32-4795, 4796). Recorded June 23, 1934.
One of a series of short videos filmed in the Physics department. The life of the department has flowed through this stairwell since it was built in 1958. I release balloons to travel up or down. Unplanned events create complementary metaphors and narratives. Other stories from the stairwell are listed further down.
I know this is paradise
Five final year physics undergraduates at Imperial College London gather around the breakfast table to answer the question: 'what does your knowledge give you?'.
Thank you to: Francesca Boughey, Nadine Kalmoni, Roxanne Middleton, Jessica Spake and Giulia Zerbini.
Credits: Title from Philip Larkin's poem 'High Windows'. Footage of ink in water by Roxanne Middleton. Stills: Hubble, CERN
A silver balloon is taken to the bottom of the stairwell and released. As it ascends, it becomes caught. Unplanned events take place and people get involved.......
Feynman Messenger Lecture Excerpt
Cornell Messenger Lecture series. An extract where Feynman reflects on a hierarchy of Nature.
At Imperial College in London a team of physicists are creating infinitesimally short pulses of light of great power so that they can probe the dynamics of matter at the smallest scales. The light pulses are millionths of billionths of a second long and have the power of nearly 200 of the UK’s largest power stations. This 4 minute film is a playful story of how the team creates these extraordinary light forms.
Thank you to the scientists: Zara Abdelrahman, Davide Fabris, Felix Frank, William Okel John Tisch and Tobias Witting.attosecond.org
Hi beautiful experiment
An experiment to produce a tiny cloud of lithium atoms (colder than outer space) which will be used to cool molecules is the subject of this 44 second poem - documentary. With thanks to Mike Tarbutt for introducing me to this world and his vivid explanations and Aisha Kaushik for letting me stay around making drawings and taking pictures while she worked. Photographic credit to Axel Mellinger for his remarkable Milky Way image
Window onto the Universe - Third Version
Most of the source imagery for this visual poem is from the cavernous subterranean laboratory of the Magpie Project, now over thirty years old. Beneath a ceiling of blacked out skylights, the team studies the dynamics of plasmas to better understand fusion and the birth of stars. Unimaginably vast currents released in a split second vapourise fragile wire cages reminiscent of spiders' webs to make plasma. One of the computer models developed by the team is included in the film, as are a scientist's notes of explanation to me and Hubble imagery of the year by year creation of a new star.
With thanks to:
The Magpie Team, Imperial College
Jerry Chittenden, Imperial College for the wire array implosion simulation and his explanations.
Patrick Hartigan, Rice University, Texas for the Hubble movie.
Explanation to a Scientist
In a subterranean lab and over a period of ten years or so, a small team of researchers have built the best machine in the world dedicated to measuring the shape of the electron which is one of our infinitesimally small indivisible constituents of matter. This elegant and economical experiment, described in Nature as "a low energy window on the high energy soul of the cosmos", may produce findings that have far reaching implications for our understanding of the universe.
This film is intended for the non-physicist as much as the expert to give insight into the language physicists use and to share the beauty in the language and the forms.
Thanks to the EDM team at Imperial College and in particular Mike Tarbutt who scripted the narrative.
The artwork is from a triptych of three lino cut prints that tell the story of the experiment from different perspectives.
The Shape of the Electron
In a subterranean lab at Imperial College in London and over a period of ten years or so, a small team of researchers have built the best machine in the world dedicated to measuring the shape of the electron which is one of our infinitesimally small indivisible constituents of matter. This elegant and economical experiment, described in Nature as “a low-energy window on the high-energy soul of the cosmos”, may produce findings that have far reaching implications for our understanding of the universe.
This tiny film tells the story of the endeavour. The film is part of the Finding Patterns project at Imperial College. http://www.findingpatterns.info/
With thanks to: The team measuring the electron electric dipole moment. http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/ccm/research/edm Comment in Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110525/full/news.2011.321.html
Credits: Piano - Prof Ed Hinds, playing Bach, Prelude and Fugue 17 from the Well Tempered Clavier. Double Bass - Dr Ben Sauer playing an excerpt from Sibelius Symphony No. 2, beginning of the second movement. Footage of the yellow precessing electron - programmed by Dr Mike Tarbutt.