Home Musicians and Scientists The SciFoo Files 2010 – Part 1: Hari Manoharan

The SciFoo Files 2010 – Part 1: Hari Manoharan

by Eva Amsen

In the summer of 2010 I was at Sci Foo camp – a gathering for scientists, writers, computer geeks, artists, and likeminded folk. Somehow, an entire year has passed since then, and Sci Foo 2011 is currently underway, but I never got around to uploading the wonderful things I have from last year!

At Sci Foo, participants create the schedule. There are empty programs on which you can suggest something you want to talk about. On opening night, there is a mad rush to get a time slot, and I managed to get a session about science and music on the program. There were 12 concurrent sessions and my session attracted about 8 people if I remember correctly. I shared what I’d been doing with this project, and played an audio file of a compilation of some of my interviewees talking about making the decision between science and music and we discussed among the audience there how they saw the connection between science and music. I have several audio clips from that discussion which I will upload next time, but here is a more complete story from one of the participants.

What does a copper atom sound like?

After proposing this talk, I got an email from fellow Sci Foo attendee Hari Manoharan, who had brought some science/music-related things of his own, so we decided to combine forces, and he let us see and HEAR the research he’d been doing.

His lab found a way to physically manipulate atoms, one by one, but the probe they use can either see or move an atom – not both at once. Due to this limitation, they could only visualize stationary states, not the movement itself. But there was a way to follow the movement via audio, and Hari explains this in the following talk. Near the end, you will be able hear some of his research, and hear how different atoms and molecules sound!

(Sorry the volume of this file is so low…)

Visit Hari’s lab website to find out more.

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