Shortlisted in the "Vizzies"

Chemistry, Illustration, In the press, Uncategorized

Other than it having an awful name, we’re super excited to have an illustration shortlisted in the Vizzies, which is run by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Science magazine (which I buy to look at the pretty pictures).
Do please cast your vote, and if you happen to like ours best (hint hint), that would be really cool as we’ll get printed in Popular Science.


More about the illustration:
An illustration created for the O’Reilly Research Group at the Unviersity of Nottingham, to illustrate the concept of using Darwinian selection to find better proteins, by making many small tweaks to their structure and selecting ones that are most effective at each stage.  The image mimics the famous monkey-to-man depiction of evolution, but using secondary protein structures that evolve and form functional structures.

More about their research

Physics educational animation clips – for Science Photo Library

Animation, Physics, Uncategorized

We were recently hired to produce a series of animation clips for Science Photo Library, as part of their educational animation licensing arm (www.sciencephoto.com). We produced 37 clips in total, here are our favourite 8 stock clips!

Clip 1 ) Waves of light, showing the associated electrical field and magnetic field components, which are orthogonal to each other. Amplitude and wavelength are also shown;
Clip 2 ) Convection currents are shown in this heat transfer clip. A bunsen heats a beaker of liquid from below, and as the hot liquid rises, cool liquid flows downwards, creating convection currents (fluid flow is simulated);
Clip 3 ) The emissivity of a blackbody as a function of its temperature is shown here. As the temperature increases, the intensity of the emission increases and the wavelengths emitted shift to shorter wavelengths (which is observed as a shift through red, white and blue);
Clip 4 ) The absorbance of electromagnetic radiation by the Earth’s atmosphere is shown, which varies with frequency/wavelength due to the composition of the atmosphere. There is, a “window” of transmissible frequencies in the visible and microwave/radio bands;
Clip 5 ) The propagation of sound through different states of matter is shown, with gas at the top, liquid in the middle, and solid at the bottom. Sound travels as vibrational waves, and the speed of propagation is faster in a more densely packed medium;
Clip 6 ) Stimulated emission is shown (as occurs in lasers), where an incoming photon raises an electron to a higher energy level. The drop back down to its base energy level is triggered by a second incoming photon, and the two photons leave synchronised in phase;
Clip 7 ) Representations of the emission of alpha, beta and gamma radiation from nuclei. Alpha particles are composed of two protons and two neutrons (the same as a helium nucleus), and are emitted by certain unstable nuclei. Beta particles are electrons, emitted when a neutron spontaneously decays into a proton and an electron. Gamma radiation is shown here, where the unstable atom first emits an alpha particle, but this leaves the nucleus still unstable until excess energy is discharged as a burst of electromagnetic radiation.
Clip 8 ) Penetration of emitted radiation. This shows the “stopping distances” of the three kinds of radiation. Alpha particles will eventually stop in air (as they strip electrons from atoms they encounter, turning to helium). They as also stopped by a thin sheet of paper. Beta radiation is stopped by a few mm of aluminium, but gamma radiation requires lead to be affected, and even then it is only attenuated (based on the thickness of the lead shielding).
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