ATLAS/CERN video contest winners

By Phil Plait | September 4, 2009 12:01 pm

A while back I mentioned a contest the folks at ATLAS and CERN were having to create a video about the giant particle accelerator experiment in Geneva. The winners have been announced, and they’re pretty cool. I’m amazed at not only the talent of so many people out there, but also the tools they have at their disposal to create amazing videos.

Congrats to the winners — especially Richard Green, who nabbed fourth place and is a BABloggee!


Comments (12)

Links to this Post

  1. Winnaars ATLAS/CERN wedstrijd zijn bekend | Astroblogs | September 5, 2009
  1. I wish I had the tools and talent to do that stuff. Well done all, and hearty congratulations.

  2. Adam English

    Awesome videos! Although they are not helping with the wait for the LHC, they just make me even more giddy about it being a possible year away until it can be at full power. Watching those was like watching Discovery Channel =)

  3. Thanks for posting this, Phil. I had a blast putting my movie together as it was so different from what I do for my day job (environments for video games). I have to give HUGE props to Bob Goldberg, the voice of the proton. He did a really wonderful job giving a voice to a “working class” proton!

    The cool thing was I actually learned a lot about ATLAS and the collider in the process. I’ve always been a bit of a hobbyist when it came to science, and I’m very interested in the promotion of science and science education in schools. It is great to be honored by such an esteemed research institute as CERN.

  4. T.E.L.

    I have a hard time swallowing “Origin of Mass” as the grand winner. It was bland and didn’t do anything that hasn’t been done a few hundred other times already. I also couldn’t stand it when the narrator told how particles without mass don’t interact with the Higgs field; particles with mass do, slowing them down. That makes it sound like a particle needs to have [something called] mass to begin with in order to interact. A particle needs to have a charge to couple with the field, and the coupled particle becomes retarded. Its coupled behavior then displays all the symptoms we associate with mass. In Higgs theory the interaction is the particle’s mass.

    I very much enjoyed “Atlas Rising” and “Proton”. They were original and amusing.

  5. Yea, Richard Green!

    Not only is he a genius at animation, he smells nice, too!

  6. StevoR

    Off topic but this could, just possibly, be important – Betelguese looks *very* bright right now. 3.41 am South Australian time.

    Its cloudy-ish but fairly high in sky – looks like its nearly or equally as bright as Sirius and is very vividly red. Can anyone confirm or check this please?

    Conditions here are not ideal with strong moonlight & clouds. I’m also pretty tired.

    Its probably nothing, of course, almost certainly a false alarm but still … if something is happening I’d love ppl to be checking ASAP! Its got me excited.

    I know that Betelguese is a variable star and perhaps is just having an unusally bright maxima but still ..

    Just clouded over o/s but Betelguese is just punching through the clouds -very bright and red making a distinct first & negative mag triangle with Sirius & Rigel. I would estimate its much brighter than Rigel and approaching Sirius in apparent mag. I could be wrong but .. please check this out anyway if you can… & spread the word to those in a position to check too.

    Update 4.15 am Adelaide South Australian time – now totally cloudy 100 % cloud cover or very close to that. Sigh.

  7. Will. M

    Totally off topic: much of the audio portions of the embedded videos on BA is filled with breaks/static noise. This has been going on for a while and doesn’t happen on other websites, though. So, I usu. turn down the sound, because it is distracting. I’m using a Mac OSX v.10.4.11 and a DSL. Can anyone suggest a fix?

  8. DrFlimmer

    TEL, I agree with you. The explanations by the winner-video are not “picture perfect”. And “Atlas Rising” and “Proton” were extreamly funny!

  9. 4. T.E.L. Says: “I have a hard time swallowing “Origin of Mass” as the grand winner. It was bland and didn’t do anything that hasn’t been done a few hundred other times already.”

    I agree completely. In fact, from my viewing of the six, I’d say they had the order almost perfectly inverted. First place seemed, as T.E.L. says, bland. And I don’t know about other people, but the sound was so soft that I had trouble hearing the narration, even with my speakers on max and my head right down next to them.

    The #3 (“Atlas”)was a little too artsy and didn’t tell me much about what was going on except that it involved lots of colored lines. The best part of second place (“Atlas Rising”) was the “disassembly” of the detector near the end, but I would have definitely swapped it with Richard Green’s “Proton” for second. The amateur nature of the humans (both animation style and voices) and the side jokes about sandwiches just didn’t work for me. Green’s effort, OTOH, was both polished, funny and stayed on point.

    I’d give the #5 video, “Eye on the Answers,” top marks for sound and music, but I thought the art style to be a bit too self conscious and I couldn’t quite follow what it was trying to tell me. “CERN, Atlas Experiment” (#6) should have ranked higher. It was a nice homage to Kubrick’s space station sequence from “2001,” but it fell down by not showing the particles generated in the collisions going into the detector. In fact, they never even made it to the walls!

    This is all IMHO, of course.

    – Jack

  10. Hey Phil, I’m the other Phil from the contest, thank you so much for posting the contest information on your blog, that’s how I first heard about it. They said I’ll be able to come over in November after I finish my degree. I’m very excited about getting to see CERN! I will certainly send you some Swiss chocolate when I get there!

    The other videos were fabulous, I especially liked Simon Howell’s and Richard Green’s videos. I’m very surprised I came first, I only had a few weeks to work on it and it was a really rushed job. I agree with T.E.L., it was bland. Several other videos already made cover the same material very well, mine didn’t really show anything new. I cut out a lot on the last day which I hadn’t finished rendering yet and just added narration at the last minute to cover the gaps. I promise to make something far better and unique when I get there. It’s an absolutely fascinating field of science.

    Awesome blog by the way, first place I visit every morning.
    Thanks again,
    Phil Owen

  11. Hey Phil,

    I ‘m the one who made “ATLAS Rising” and I wanted to congratulate on your win! I also only had 3 weeks to work on the project and wish I had more time to polish the script (and take out the sandwich references, ugh).

    I can’t wait to visit CERN – I do hope your internship goes well!


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