Image of the week: the very first edition

Some people think that science is all equations and hard work. A lot of it is (!) but along with that comes great beauty, and every single week we’re going to prove it.

So, to celebrate the beauty of science we’re launching our image of the week! It can be found over on the right hand side of the blog, and each week we’ll put up a post to let you know what it is, why it matters and who took/made the image.

And our very first image? This:

Correlation matrix from ENDF/B-VII.1 156Gd(n, tot) evaluation, from D A Brown et al 2015 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 42 034020

Correlation matrix from ENDF/B-VII.1 156Gd(n, tot) evaluation, from D A Brown et al 2015 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 42 034020

This colourful, symmetric image is a correlation matrix created by D A Brown and colleagues at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In their recent paper in JPhysG they look at uncertainty quantification in the Nuclear Data Program, and they use this image to visualise and explain the process.  The authors explain how uncertainties affect these matrices – for instance when statistical uncertainties dominate the systematic ones the resulting correlation matrices tend to be diagonal-like, as in this image.

This kind of work is essential to understand experiment and theory, and how they interact. It’s part of a focus issue in JPhysG which addresses this issue in nuclear physics – but many of the techniques will apply to a broad range of disciplines.

It goes to show that you don’t need a big telescope, a fancy camera or a microscope to create a visual treat, and one that has real meaning too. In the weeks to come we’ll bring you a variety of images showing off the beauty of science, both conventional and unconventional. We hope you enjoy reading the science behind the images.


CC-BY logoThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Image: Correlation matrix from ENDF/B-VII.1 156Gd(n, tot) evaluation, from D A Brown et al 2015 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 42 034020. Copyright IOP Publishing 2015.

Read more on uncertainties:
Enhancing the interaction between nuclear experiment and theory through information and statistics
Guest Editors: David Ireland and Witek Nazarewicz



Categories: Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics

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