Explaining physics with wonderful, 1930s-style animation

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/09/squash-stretch-and-general-rel.html



Wonderful animations!

Discovered this fun “ABCs of particle physics” yesterday on Symmetry magazine. It’s published by the DOE. I’m guessing such educational materials will not be up much longer so take a look before it disappears.

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I knew a guy who was working on rides in the late 70s that had enclosed seats and movie screens and he said what he did to make people think the movie was describing their motion was to match accelerations with gravity. So if he wanted you to feel you were in a plane taking off and the acceleration was pushing you back into your seat, he would just slowly tip you and the screen (and the whole pod) onto your back and let gravity provide the extended feeling of acceleration while the movie showed a forward cockpit view.

Nowadays they shake the scene and shake you but I never see this “match accelerations” approach. I guess it’s too expensive to give everyone private ride pods, or something.


Love what they’re calling the video series!

Man! I feel better now. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine CHOOSING to watch anything resembling a 1930s-style animation (almost always creeps me out), in this case to drive out the disturbing weirdness of the Cyriak video in one of the other posts.


Sometimes I feel like I can almost see how to begin to fit the concept of relativity into my head. Alas! Yet I am heartened by the Eddington quip:

In the early years after Einstein’s theory was published, Sir Arthur Eddington lent his considerable prestige in the British scientific establishment in an effort to champion the work of this German scientist. Because the theory was so complex and abstruse (even today it is popularly considered the pinnacle of scientific thinking; in the early years it was even more so), it was rumored that only three people in the world understood it. There was an illuminating, though probably apocryphal, anecdote about this. As related by Ludwik Silberstein, during one of Eddington’s lectures he asked “Professor Eddington, you must be one of three persons in the world who understands general relativity.” Eddington paused, unable to answer. Silberstein continued “Don’t be modest, Eddington!” Finally, Eddington replied “On the contrary, I’m trying to think who the third person is.”


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I like the old style myself, but this one had hints of 3D rendering which gave a disturbing cognitive dissonance. Like a Pixar Betty Boop.

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I agree. The 3D was certainly out of place.

And a Pixar Betty Boop? No energy.

Sorry, can’t understand. No energy?

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A 3D BB wouldn’t have the history, celebrity, gravitas, etc. of the original 30s version… especially when that’s what you watched a lot in the north-east as a child, that on local TV channels that didn’t see the point in airing ‘expensive’ cartoons and so aired 30s/40s toons. Too long an answer; hope it worked.

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Very creative! Isn’t it awesome that now we have ‘common’ people doing things that used to require agents, financing, and favours?


I agree! Thanks!

anyone know a source for the sexual urges of a certain felix/silvester the cat that was televised in the tv programme

the item in question was omitted from the dvd

I remember getting a kick out of this when it came out.

…Gary Busey alert though…


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