The second session of the project 'Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty'

The second session of the project 'Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty'

The IFT hosts the second session of the interdisciplinary cycle 'Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty' (P4UU).

This project is dedicated to pooling research into creative practices, cultural work, technology, communications and particle physics.
The second session is entitled 'Membranes, Microphones, Hydrophones and Particles' and considers the use of acoustic technology in particle physics and the creative/cultural uses of radio. Neutrino telescopes, which make use of this technology on the seabed to observe elementary particles, have turned out to be much more versatile and interdisciplinary observatories.

• Miquel Ardid Polytechnic University of Valencia. Leader of the Acoustic Research Group for the detection of astroparticles.

• Miguel Álvarez-Fernández is a sound artist, musicologist, curator of artistic projects, essayist, radio producer and film director.
The second part of Parameters to Understand Uncertainty, 'Membranes, Microphones, Hydrophones and Particles'.

Venue: IFT Blue Room

Date & Time: Friday, May 17th, 11:00 – 13:00

If you wish to attend, you must confirm your attendance, free of charge, at the following link.

More info

Although we were once (perhaps naively) able to think of the deep ocean as a homogeneous and silent space, data from such experiments teach us otherwise. Continuous listening in underwater areas provides crucial information about a plethora of sonic phenomena. Along with insights into the behavior of high-energy particles, these experiments also provide insights into underwater noise profiles and acoustic activities of deep-sea life.

What are the right conditions to detect the microscopic and invisible elements of our Universe? What can the ability to navigate the intensities and densities of the underwater, otherwise inaccessible in our daily lives, offer to aesthetic thought? How can these forms of scientific experimentation inform current thinking within the arts and humanities?


The principal researcher of the project is Dr Rebecca Collins, Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory, from the University of Edinburgh, and it will be carried out in collaboration with the Instituto de Física Teórica IFT UAM-CSIC.

Collins joined the IFT for 12 months from January 2022, and she will be investigating how methodologies used in creative practice meet those in the physical sciences. Working alongside Dr Cerdeño and his group at the IFT, a central aim of the project is to find innovative approaches to better communicate research processes involving invisible matter.

For P4UU, Collins will combine research into existing art/science collaborations with a sonic inflection (e.g., Ars Electronica residencies at CERN, Geneva) with field research at laboratories where physical science experiments use sound technology for dark matter detection (e.g., the Canfranc Underground Laboratory and the Laboratory of Acoustics for the Detection of Astroparticles), to find unconventional research engagement strategies.

Collins believes that situated accounts of the aforementioned laboratories, a disused underground railway tunnel or below sea level, can provide new angles on often impenetrable methods of particle physicists. Her research will involve field work in the form of site visits, interviews, autoethnographic writing and workshops. Outputs will take the form of podcasts, new sound work, and a series of published materials putting the research into contact with a wider public.

For more on the work of Dr Rebecca Collins, see her research profile here.

For further information on other projects supported by the RSE, see here.

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