Communion Of Dreams


The little particle that isn’t there.
September 26, 2010, 11:20 am
Filed under: Science, Sixty Symbols, Space, tech, YouTube

Today’s Sixty Symbols video is about neutrinos, represented by the symbol:  Neutrinos

Most of us have heard of neutrinos, a fundamental particle which has almost no mass and is almost impossible to detect, leading to some pretty amazing technological wonders designed to find them. But this video is disappointing – no, the information is good, and you’ll come away from it with a better understanding of the role of the neutrino in particle physics and cosmology. If you don’t fall asleep. Because it is almost entirely talking heads.

The same sound track – the same series of physicists explaining what neutrinos are and how they factor into our understanding of how the universe works – could have been used with an entirely different set of visual images. Maybe just a bunch of static diagrams. Or some of the images of neutrino detectors linked up above. Or animations. Or just about anything.

I’m not complaining about the enthusiasm displayed by the scientists, as they talk about this topic. That’s pretty clear. But that isn’t at all what I would think is most effective in conveying information about the subject to a lay audience.

Jim Downey

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