Friday, September 11, 2015

Howard Wolowitz will narrate Secrets of the Universe

The project has been known at least since early 2014 and the National Science Foundation promised some funds. But only yesterday, they also collected the required extra $100,000 from the individual Indiegogo donors so "Secrets of the Universe", an IMAX 3D movie that will be played in science centers and museums across the world since 2017, became a sure thing.

A 2014 trailer

Jolene Creighton made it clear that the movie will be about the LHC.

You may also learn that Howard Wolowitz of The Big Bang Theory (Simon Helberg) will be the main narrator. He said that when K2 approached him, he was thrilled that children could see him on the big screen – and see him taller than he actually is. Also, Wolowitz has pointed out that his masculine voice is a more accurate proxy to estimate his manly strength than his height.

In spite of those virtues, many TRF readers will find this choice of the narrator weird. After all, Mr Wolowitz doesn't even have a PhD, does he?

That is why some actual PhD physicists, such as Dr Deborah Belebichez, will be on the show, too. Belebichez has written some citationless papers on the time reversal of sound but became primarily famous as theScienceBabe.COM.

After her PhD, this bilingual Mexican American researcher has focused on some other fundamental subdisciplines of physics outside acoustics. Her YouTube work on physics of high heels remains her most popular work on YouTube, with almost 50,000 views. Her interview with Robert Laughlin, a rank-and-file Nobel prize winner, couldn't compete.

Because of her expertise in physics of high heels, you might speculate that she was a top advisor of the European Union's campaign claiming that science, it's a girl thing.

I can't promise you that the movie will raise the percentage of scientifically literate Americans from 30% to 100%, as they suggest, and I don't even know whether the content will be original or inspiring in any way. But I can assure you that there are not too many full 3D films about particle physics. Perhaps some 3D visualization of collisions at the LHC could turn out to be a sufficient return on the investment.

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