symmetry magazine

dimensions of particle physics

dimensions of particle physics

A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication

 

Rapping the LHC

July 29, 2008

Rapping the LHC

Like the Large Hadron Collider? Feel like you’ve been reading the same LHC articles or watching the same videos over and over again? Then check out the latest addition to the YouTube pantheon of LHC videos, the Large Hadron Rap.

The rap is the brainchild of Kate McAlpine, a.k.a. alpinekat, a freelance science writer and one of the editors of the ATLAS e-News. Having just produced her first physics rap, McAlpine was already planning an LHC rap when she arrived at CERN in October for a six-month stint in U.S. LHC communications.

“I'd just finished a rap about a neurochip, and my head was filled with information about the LHC and its goals,” said McAlpine. “I had access to experimental halls as well as stock footage. To not rap would have been a wasted opportunity.”

The dancing and rapping segments were filmed on location at CERN and in the LHC’s underground areas. While actors, musicians and even a dance troupe had visited the LHC, this was the first time it had starred in a rap video.

“The response was dubious when we were trying to get permission to film and intrigued once people found out what we were up to,” she said.

McAlpine’s newest venture has been attracting much more attention than she expected – she's been interviewed by the BBC, and in the video's first dozen hours on YouTube it attracted more than 1,300 views.

"You know what the status was eight hours after uploading N3UROCH!P [her first rap]? 14 people had seen it," she added.

While alpinekat hasn’t yet signed with a record label, she’s already planning her next physics rap.