the science of sound


Wednesday 24 May 2017

join us at The Collective Old Oak to learn about the science of sound. the School of Noise will give you an insight into how sound actually works, followed by a performance from Look Mum No Computer with a rare opportunity to test out some of the experiments for yourself. you will be able to try out a variety of machines which utilise sound in experimental and interactive ways. there will be also a synth bike, a machine which demonstrates cymatics and a skull radio, amongst other exciting objects

The Collective Old Oak
Old Oak Lane
NW10 6FF
free – please RSVP here


104-page retrospective book (2006-2016)
first edition of 1000
170mm x 240mm
printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper made from 100% post-consumer waste

in 2006 we published our first fanzine and began a journey into science and culture. from the depths of interstellar space to the limitless subatomic horizons of particle physics to the most beautiful places on our planet, we’ve been privileged to spend the past decade exploring the wonders and aesthetics of science from a creative standpoint

full of short stories and facts, ten is more than just a retrospective of our work. it’s a visual record of where science has taken us all in the last decade – told through 100 beautiful images from the worlds of astronomy, chemistry, mineralogy, physics, ecology, biology… and beyond

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the in sound from way out

GOES satellite

researchers at Queen Mary University in London are inviting filmmakers and creatives to experiment with sounds from space, as part of a new competition launched today. to find out more about these cosmic noises, we caught up with project lead Dr Martin Archer…

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the edge of the sky


24 January 2017

to start our new season of talks at Second Home, we’ll be joined by theoretical cosmologist Roberto Trotta, whose book The Edge of the Sky explains the Universe using just 1000 simple words. from the big bang to black holes, from dark matter to dark energy, from the origins of the universe to its ultimate destiny, Trotta will tell us the story of the most important discoveries and mysteries in modern cosmology in a way anyone can understand

Second Home
68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
free for Second Home members / £3 for non-members – please RSVP here

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Liliane Lijn in conversation with Johanna Kieniewicz

Ruins of Kasch, 2008, Liliane Lijn

6 December 2016

in this talk, artist Liliane Lijn will share her experiences exploring light since the 1960s. beyond discussing her artistic practice, Liliane will talk about her influences and historical understandings of light from the past millennia, drawing on her readings in Tibetan Buddhism as well as her interest in physics and astronomy

Second Home
68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
tickets are free for Second Home members and £3 for non-members – please RSVP here

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is our universe a hologram?

© Mr Div

© Mr Div

Tuesday 20 September 2016

join Dr. Andrew O’Bannon on a journey to the cutting edge of theoretical physics. holography is the bold idea that all the information in our 3D universe may be contained in a mysterious 2D image, like a hologram. promising not only to unite Einstein’s relativity with quantum physics, it also has the potential to provide us with cleaner energy, faster computers, and novel electronics

Second Home
68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
£5 | book here

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as the nights draw in, join super/collider and guests for a season exploring the dark side…

Wednesday 3 August 2016

join Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Marek Kukula and curator Melanie Vandenbrouck at Second Home to explore the role of darkness in art and science. blackness can reveal as well as conceal: today’s astronomers seek out the darkest sites on Earth in order to see further into the universe, while the Hubble Space Telescope’s 10-day stare into the darkness in 1995 produced the dazzling vista of the Hubble Deep Field

from art to astronomy and beyond, Marek and Melanie will trace the changing face of darkness from its traditional use as a symbol of the mysterious and unknown to the modern day quest for ultimate darkness in the form of Surrey NanoSystems’s ultra-dark Vantablack coating

Second Home
68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
£5 / book now

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at the edge of uncertainty


Wednesday 6 July 2016

quantum physicist Dr Michael Brooks is an author, broadcaster and journalist who has spent much of his career looking beyond the boundaries of our scientific understanding. join us at Second Home for an insightful exploration into subjects that still challenge our understanding of the universe. Dr Brooks will touch on topics such as the nature of time and consciousness and offer us his thoughts on what the future of knowledge will look like

Second Home
68 Hanbury Street / London / E1 5JL
£5 / book now

brewing up a storm


Wednesday 8 June 2016

join Professor Joanna Haigh from Imperial College London and super/collider for an evening exploring our planet’s changing climate

come make your own cyanotype print of a Pacific island at threat from sea level rise before settling down to hear Joanna discuss why our climate is changing and how physics can help to predict our planet’s future. Brewing up a Storm is part of the Institute of Physics Summer Sessions and is open to all – no physics knowledge is necessary

drinks and snacks are available at the talk and attendance is free – just make sure to register beforehand

canalside steps, Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4AA
free | book here

waves ⚫️⚫️〰〰〰〰〰


researchers working on the LIGO experiment in America are due to make a historic announcement at 15:30 GMT today that we expect will be confirmation they’ve detected gravitational waves

operating since 2002 but recently upgraded, the facility consists of two separate L-Shaped laser observatories which measure the ultra-tiny distortions caused by passing gravitational waves. we should be able to detect these ‘ripples in space time’ when they emanate from massive objects like orbiting neutron stars and black holes, but they’ve never been seen before now. if LIGO has detected them, it would mark the first direct observation of a phenomenon first posited by Einstein exactly 100 years ago, opening up a new chapter in physics and a whole new way of observing the universe

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light play

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 15.41.27

Sunday 1 November 2015

join us at TATE Britain with The People’s Bureau for a hands on workshop investigating the properties of light. artist Jordan Soderberg Mills will work with super/collider’s Melanie King and Louise Beer to help you make your own photographs with a variety of prisms and light refracting objects

briefing: the LHC restart


in the coming days, the massive underground donut known as the Large Hadron Collider will once again see protons travelling at phenomenal speeds towards each other. following a two year shutdown and massive upgrade, the LHC will be switched back on at almost double its previous power: an incredible 13 trillion electron volts. the cooling of the mammoth machine has already begun – the loop must be chilled to -271.3°C in order for the superconducting magnets to effectively focus the beams of particles on their path around the circular tunnel

the previous run of collisions at the LHC confirmed the existence of Higgs boson. now, as energies rise, physicists will be able to explore the more unexpected and unpredictable realms of the physical world. one theory scientists are keen to probe is that of supersymmetry, which predicts that a superpartner (or ‘sparticle’) exists for each particle in the Standard Model

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particle / wave


for the first time, scientists have imaged light acting as both a particle and a wave – a behaviour long predicted but never captured in a single snapshot. to do it, researchers at the École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne fired a laser at a tiny metallic nanowire, creating a standing wave of light. they then used a stream of electrons to image the standing wave and ‘hit’ the photons of light – demonstrating the dual nature of light. as team leader Fabrizio Carbone explains, “this experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics – and its paradoxical nature – directly”

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Laser Quest party pics

Photo by Amelia Karlsen

super/collider kicked off 2015 with a massively sold out celebration of lasers at the Ace Hotel, packing in three top laser plasma physicists, psychedelic tea from Bompas & Parr and music from To The Lazer Cave. photographers Amelia Karlsen and John Hooper captured all the action from our most epic-est night yet. take a look or head over to our Facebook to tag your friends, like yourself etc

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Laser Quest

laser quest

Thursday 8 January 2015

join super/collider and friends for an epic night of laser action, as we kick off the International Year of Light with the best kind of light: that of lasers! a celebration of lasers in all their glory, the evening will begin with a Laser Tea Ceremony by Bompas & Parr and end with a full audio-visual laser onslaught from cult promoters and DJs To The Lazer Cave

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the light from a single pulse of the world’s most powerful laser is intense enough to heat material to millions of degrees in less than a trillionth of a second. extreme electric fields wrapped up in the laser pulse pull matter into its constituent negative and positive charged parts, forming the 4th state of matter: plasma

behind the beauty of the burning glow of laser plasma lies a wealth of extraordinary and extreme physics. researchers at the STFC‘s Central Laser Facility outside Oxford are studying this exotic state of matter because it can host a tiny, micro-particle accelerator that gives off beams of X-rays and particles that can be used in medical, manufacturing and security imaging

studying laser plasma may also help us replicate the fusion reactions that power the sun. used here on Earth, this could provide a limitless source of clean, green energy

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call for entries: International Images For Science

blaschka jellyfish

calling all photographers: the Royal Photographic Society is looking for entries for a new exhibition exploring all branches of science – from medicine and forensic science to zoology, engineering and astronomy. the society will select 100 images to form a touring exhibition launching at the British Science Festival in Bradford, September 2015 – representing the variety of ways photography is applied to science. find more information and apply here


James Bridle

assembled by artist Gustav Metzger and curators Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, this year’s Serpentine Marathon will see dozens of leading artists, writers, scientists, musicians and intellectual types pondering the theme of extinction over the course of eighteen furious hours. science-y highlights for us science-y types range from talks by folks like UCL’s Professor Georgina Mace – who asks “Are We in the Midst of a Mass Extinction?” – and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees expanding on his book Our Final Century? to more art/science stuff like sonic de-extinction specialist Marguerite Humeau’s recreation of Cleopatra’s voice and artist Trevor Paglen – whose incredible work The Last Pictures is currently in geostationary orbit aboard an EchoStar communications satellite. throw in appearances by Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, sound recording legend Chris Watson and eco-conscious model Lily Cole and it becomes a no-brainer: if you go to one nerd rave this year, make it this one



lots of gossip flying around the science world today, with talk of a ‘major discovery’ coming out of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics later today. The Guardian kickstarted speculation that researchers working on the BICEP2 telescope in Antarctica have detected evidence of gravitational waves – the final untested prediction of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. if true, it would be a ‘major, major, major’ discovery according to UCL cosmologist Hiranya Peiris, and probably win a Nobel Prize

update: the discovery has now been confirmed, but the news conference livestream is completely overloaded. follow the action on Twitter with #BICEP2


Super K

Covariance – a physics-art collaboration initiated by the Institute of Physics – ignited discussions between physicist Ben Still and artist Lyndall Phelps, leading to a unique experiential particles installation in the ice caves buried deep below the London Canal Museum

this subterranean treasure trove is strongly influenced by the main research project Ben Still works on, the Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) experiment – an international hunt for neutrino oscillations. the depths of the earth are a favourite place for particle physics experiments, rays of energy from the sun bring all sorts of particles for the ride but only a select few can penetrate the earth’s surface. this convenient filter is why one part of T2K, the awesome Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector, was built in a Japanese mine 1km below ground. it is a spectacular sight, the glassy surface of the purified water mirroring the hundreds of light detectors that echo around the chamber – an epic vista of the physics world that few ever get to experience

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