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Watch an Artist's Sublime Visualization of Quantum Collisions

Quantum Fluctuations (short version) from Markos Kay on Vimeo.

The quantum world is hard enough to comprehend on a basic level, much less visualize. Scientists can only study quantum interactions indirectly, by studying what happens when particles collide, after all. Artist Markos Kay is making it a little bit easier to imagine quantum mechanics through digital art, as Co.Design reports. His “Quantum Fluctuations” are virtual experiments, as he calls them, designed to simulate the work of particle accelerators through computer visualizations.

Created with input from researchers at CERN in Geneva, his visualizations show millions of virtual particles interacting to create structures and patterns, similar to the way real particles interact.

“The film begins with the underlying quantum fluctuations and interactions that occur in the background of a collision,” he writes in the film’s description. “It shows the intricate structure of the proton beams that collide to create an outflow of particle showers which create composite particles that eventually decay.”

By using the same kind of computer simulations that scientists use in quantum research as art, “this conceptual reimagining of quantum theory aims to challenge our ideas of how scientific observation and knowledge are formed,” he argues. You don't need a physics background to appreciate the amazing visuals, though.

[h/t Co.Design]

Teaser image by Markos Kay, screenshot via Vimeo

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
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Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
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Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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