APS News

2014 APS Outreach Grant Funds Physics Documentary

Group from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid has released a YouTube video on the value of condensed matter physics

January 19, 2016

So Close Project webpage screenshot imageSeeking to show that important advances come from “little questions that lead to big answers,” winners of a 2014 APS Public Outreach Grant have released a YouTube documentary showing the importance of condensed matter physics in everyday life. The video, “Condensed Matter Physics: So Close and Such a Stranger,” was directed by Elsa Prada, Isabel Guillamón, and Enrique Sahagún from the Faculty of Sciences at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain.

Around 19 minutes long, the video combines animation and interviews to convey the history of condensed matter applications and research, as well as the way condensed matter physics is involved in common objects like cellphones. Semiconductors, superconductivity, and liquid crystals are some of the materials explored, and the video gives an overview of what researchers in condensed matter physics strive to do.

APS began awarding Outreach Mini-Grants in 2010 to foster clever and creative ways to explain physics to the public. Each fall, the APS Outreach program sends out a call for proposals, which are evaluated the following February by the society’s Committee on Informing the Public. Successful applicants receive up to $10,000 to support their projects.

For more on the APS outreach programs and a list of all grant winners, visit these sites:
Gray Arrow APS Physics Outreach
Gray Arrow APS Public Outreach and Informing the Public Grants

The researchers who produced the video have also formed an outreach program:
Gray Arrow The So Close Project