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Angles and Demons – ATLAS June 5, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in ATLAS, CERN, photography, physics life.

Apparently the ATLAS detector will make an appearance in the film based on Dan Brown’s book Angels and Demons (at least, if the detector scenes aren’t left on the cutting room floor).

Quote from the article:

Anyone at ATLAS who has read the novel is sure to have their own opinions on the author’s particular “creative” take on the laws of physics and his representation of CERN. But, like it or not, CERN plays an important part in the story – as the location from which antimatter is stolen by a secret society intent on creating a bomb to destroy the Vatican.

Right. ’nuff said about the book.

What I thought was very cool was instead of trying to film a scene in the detector – it is almost impossible now as the detector hall is so crowded – they will instead do a 3D model of it and use that. How cool is that? Too bad we can’t do that to all the various bits of equipment that we install and then save them. Sort of the way we currently take digital photographs.

Stammers, who is doing the 3D work for the movie, described the process as follows:

We use these [images] with our own in-house software – an image-based modelling tool – to pinpoint certain areas within each image that are also in other images,” he explains. “From that we can extrapolate a 3D model which is scale accurate, and the photographs can then be used as textures to apply to that model.

This sounds a lot like the PhotoSynth project out of Microsoft Research. I’ve been waiting for someone to make this sort of thing available to someone like me to play around with (read: basically free except for CPU time). While I’m sure I’d never do as high quality job as someone paid for the movies, imagine what you could do with all the detector bits, some of the collision halls, etc.? Now, that would be cool. And then if you could make decent 3D viewing software – what a great outreach project (well, I think it would be cool – no telling what others would think, of course).


1. Le Rital - June 7, 2008

Gordon, spelling spelling spelling. Angles and daemons.
Yes a daemon passed by and changed the spelling of angels….

2. gordonwatts - June 13, 2008

Sigh. One of these days I’ll get the spelling right!

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