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David Glowacki is on a mission to ‘bring spectroscopy into the public consciousness’, he says. But Danceroom Spectroscopy, his enchanting fusion of quantum molecular dynamics, music and dance, is in no way pedagogical. If it has any kind of take home message, it is simply that movement should be fundamental to our collective understanding of atoms and molecules, the buildings blocks of matter.
I caught an abridged version of the team’s show, Hidden Fields, at Venturefest Bristol yesterday.
What you see on the screens is a computer simulation of the movements of molecules as determined by Feynman-Hibbs molecular dynamics. The dancers are captured by sophisticated 3D cameras and converted into energy fields within the simulation. Their movements thereby perturb the system. Meanwhile, the music is generated from the system’s endless vibrations.
The effect is surprisingly engaging, particularly I think if you are in any way familiar with such molecular simulations – as most chemists probably are. You’ve seen the imagery before, but never quite like this!