We recently ran a little poll of our science readers to find out what they were looking for from our coverage. One of the things that was clear was that you wanted to know how things work—what’s the technology that enables the latest science (and vice versa), and how does it operate?
These things can be a challenge to handle via text, since there are often a lot of moving parts, things that really require diagrams to explain, and so forth. In a lot of ways, this makes video a better tool for helping people visualize what’s going on. Given that we’ve got access to people who make some fine videos, we decided to give it a try.
What you’ll see above is our first go at explaining a pretty amazing bit of technology: the Large Hadron Collider. Nearly everything about the LHC—its detectors, the data filtering, the clusters that store, share, and analyze the data—is pretty astonishing. But at the heart of it all, the key to enabling everything, is the fact that we have a way to accelerate objects so that they are moving so close to the speed of light that the difference is a rounding error. How do we do that? Hopefully, after watching the video, you’ll come away with a pretty good idea.
We’ve got a number of additional videos in this series planned, focusing on scientific instruments and processes and on some of the technology that has come out of scientific developments. But since this is being done in part because you asked for it, we want to hear from you as well: what would you like to understand better? Leave us suggestions in the comments below.