Large Hadron Collider as pop-up book
July 5, 2010 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Large Hadron Collider as pop-up book. Voyage to the Heart of Matter by Anton Radevsky and Emma Sanders uses cutting-edge pop-up-book technology to explicate the Large Hadron Collider. (At Ars Technica; at Wired.)
posted by joeclark (4 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Ha! This is such a wonderful clash of technology levels.

I'm putting this on my Amazon wishlist immediately, in anticipation of my next book buying spree. Right now it's only a pre-order item, but that suggests they will have it soon. It'll be interesting to see what this does to the recommendations engine. Will it suggest more big physics books, or more pop-up books?
posted by FishBike at 12:23 PM on July 5, 2010

posted by New England Cultist at 2:28 PM on July 5, 2010

Pretty nifty, but my favourite conflation of modern physics and children's toys remains the WMAP beach ball.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:33 PM on July 5, 2010

This is such a wonderful clash of technology levels

What are you talking about? This is "cutting-edge pop-up-book technology". If anything it makes the Large Hadron Collider look dull.

Actually I believe the Large Hadron Collider, one of the most mind bogglingly exciting things a non-scientist like me could ever get his head around ("It might create a black hole and destroy the solar system...?"), looks kind of dull. Perhaps that's why the media did a poor job of reporting it (and, you know, the complete lack of competent science journalists).

There was that one particular fortnight a short while back when, whenever I turned on the telly, I would always be greeted by an animation of a ping pong ball circling a really big tunnel. I say big, but because my TV is so small it looked about the size of a vacuum cleaner. Then we would be treated to pictures of scientists sitting in a cafeteria. Then up would flash shots of various banks of computers looking like metal cupboards in a big empty room. However thrilling the fact that science may change forever, etc, the visuals are not that exciting.

The media wanted something engaging, like the Power Rangers' secret base with Zordon floating in the middle. I think when scientists first sent particles around a complete circuit, news presenters tried to celebrate on camera but struggled because it was so difficult to say when the big event had actually happened - there were no sirens going off, just a room full of people looking at screens with graphs on them. What the journalists would have preferred was something a bit more obvious, like, say, the Enterprise dumping a warp core. Look at her go!

Maybe that's why I find this book a bit underwhelming - because the physical structure is huge, but the scale of it is difficult to appreciate because it is in a normal sized book. Without the sense of scale, the physical structure is kinda dull, and cutting edge cardboard pop up technology does not change that fact.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 3:58 PM on July 5, 2010

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