Good question. Last year I went to a conference in Chicago and I saw a video that had been reconstructed based on a person’s brain activity. The person was watching a movie in the fMRI scanner, and by decoding the fMRI signal, the researchers could recreate (quite roughly, but recognizably) the pictures they were seeing. This is the most amazing sight I’ve seen in science. For example, It might mean it possible to read people’s imagination or dreams in the future. The scientists responsible are called Nishimoto and Gallant, and I am hoping their video will be in the news in a couple of months time when the paper is published.
In general life the most amazing things I’ve seen are i) the birth of my children and ii) a total eclipse of the Sun (in Amiens, in 1999). Each truly awesome experiences, in very different ways, of course.
In science mine was being inside the Super Kamiokande detector in Japan. This is a neutrino detector and it contains 40,000 tonnes of pure water and is a huge cylindrical tank. All around the edges of the tank are detectors called photomultiplier tubes (that are like massive light bulbs). There was an accident in the tank where one of the tubes imploded…this sent a shockwave around the tank and broke about half of the tubes in there. So they had to empty the tank and fix the tubes layer by layer. I was lucky enough to be involved in the refurbishment. It was about half full when i went in it. I got to ride a dingy inside this massive experiment – AMAZING!
Hi Lizzie – For me, there is no doubt: the births of my three children. Totally amazing. Never to be bettered.
That’s probably the general answer. For a sciencey one, I think I would have to say that my most recent highlight was looking at the moon for the first time through a telescope (and then seeing Jupiter and its moons).
I got it for Christmas last year and had my first go on Christmas day. I tried to capture something of my excitement in this blog-post.
Loads and loads but recently I went to Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire and saw the puffins there. They were completely fearless, and beautiful, and there were hundreds of them. Wonderful, natural sight.