A picture paints more than a petabyte of data
In the age of the petabyte, we all need help digesting and understanding massive amounts of information. In this month’s Physics World, a series of features celebrates the ascendance of visual methods that are being used to make meaning of the mountains of scientific data.
Scientific visualizations can play a key role in fundamental physics, particularly when it comes to depicting the outcome of particle collisions at CERN’s massive new Large Hadron Collider, but they can also shed light on much more everyday research.
A feature written by Cesar A Hidalgo, a physicist at the Centre for International Development, Harvard University, US, explains why ‘network science’ could be a useful tool in both national economic planning and in medical research.
In medical research, a database of medical records from a large population of elderly US citizens has been used to build a ‘disease network’ to show how various disease associations are distributed and, among other things, alert doctors to health risks closely associated to any particular ailment.
A similar project, called the Product Space produced in collaboration with a team of economists, maps out the kind of tradeable products that tend to emerge together in national economies and highlights areas where economies may have great difficulty diversifying.
On providing easily understandable information that deals with very complex subjects, Barry Sanders, iCORE chair of quantum information science and director of the Institute for Quantum Information Science at the University of Calgary, Canada, writes about the work he has undertaken with a team of researchers and animators to produce a “movie” that explains how quantum computers work, Solid state quantum computer in silicon.
Acknowledging the need to delicately balance scientific accuracy and aesthetic appeal, Sanders writes, “Visualization of scientific knowledge is not easy or cheap, but it is rewarding and useful. Animated films are valuable tools for explaining difficult, abstract concepts such as quantum computing in the classroom.”
Also in this issue:
•Feast of visualization – a gallery of stunning images from New Journal of Physics
•A picture of the cosmos – Mark SubbaRao and Miguel Aragon-Calvo explain how astronomers are using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to create accurate maps of the universe
•New Journal of Physics celebrates 10 years of open-access publishing
Joe Winters | alfa
Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
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