A couple of months ago, some nice guys of the IFISC (Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems) contacted me. They saw the Synchronizing Fireflies and wanted them to demonstrate how simple rules can make patterns emerge from chaos. The main research of the institute is in Nonlinear Physics and Complex Systems.
But why would they want electronic gimicks? Every year, there is a science fair, the “Fira de la ciència” in Palma de Mallorca. The fair is aimed at young students, to introduce them to science with many hands-on projects and experiments. The IFISC is part of this fair and decided to use my fireflies as a demonstration of self organizing systems for one of their projects.
It took a while to figure out how to present the fireflies best. Here are two pictures of the palm tree to which the fireflies are tied. Great idea and it came out really beautiful.
For the fair they built a small cubicle with the palm tree inside. The cubicle was neccessary because the fireflies need an almost pitch back environment to see each other flashes.
As the fair was at Palma de Mallorca, I couldn’t resist to see it in person. Last week my girlfriend and I took some days off and travelled to Mallorca. We visited the fair and met some really nice staff members of IFISC. And there it was, a tiny black cube with a palm tree and fireflies within. Wohoo!
After all I have to say thank you all so much for the warm welcome and showing and explaining all your projects. Thanks for the cool t-shirt, I feel almost as a IFISC member now ;-)
And especially thanks to Pep for pushing this project further and further and making it possible. It has been a fantastic experience. You guys rock.