23/10/2012

Jiggling Atoms / Super-K




Just finished the Jiggling Atoms show at the Rag Factory. 
There is an interview with me on the Jiggling atoms website Here


The whole experience has been amazing. I would like the thank Natalie Kay-Thatcher, Jennifer Crouch, 
Rosie Eveleigh, Malte Oppermann, Dr. Ben Still, Harriet Cory-Wright and everyone else involved. 


This was the context writing that was presented next to my work in the show:

The sequential pieces juxtapose the human, anecdotal side of the Super-Kamiokande, with the clean, graphic, often abstract forms that have come to represent scientific information and systems. The idea for tackling the subject in this way came about in Dr. Ben Still’s lecture, when he told the stories of some the people that work at the Super-K. The lyrically told narratives of these people Jarred with the previously straight talking, abstract discussions we were involved in regarding Nuclear Transmutation, Bose-Einstein Condensate and Cherenkov Photon. The idea of an anecdotal, human side applies to science as a culture, like any other that collects and shares it’s own narratives and human experiences. These are often passed on orally, distorted by time, cultural bounda­ries and language.

The Super Kamiokande is a huge Neutrino observatory underneath Mount Kamioka, Japan. With the use of thousands of photo-multiplier tubes and 50,000 tons of ultra-pure water, it detects Cherenkov radiation, which is emitted when a neutrino smashes into a water molecule. The radiation occurs when and a photon travels faster than the speed of light (which is slower in water than air). The Photo-multiplier tubes act like reverse light bulbs, detecting light rather than emitting it. With the use of powerful computers, the information collected can be used to learn more about neutrinos and their behavior. 

The narrative I have focused on is that of 3 young men who work in a small factory in the Japanese mountains. They have hand-blown the 11,000 photo-multiplier tubes that line the Super Kamiokande. Their age is of vital importance, for one, they should have many productive years ahead of them. In 2001, 6,600 of the photomultiplier tubes exploded, each costing around £2000. Secondly, being young and non-smokers, there will
be less impurities in the glass, which is crucial in such a sensitive piece of equipment. 

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