Outreach Movies

This page serves as a repository for the public outreach animations and movies that I have worked on for both scientific and public talks.  Many of these were developed in coordination with the Northwestern Visualization team, a fantastic group that converts scientific data and concepts into meaningful visualizations.

You are more than welcome to download and use any of these visualizations in any talks or presentations, as long as you mention me (or the Northwestern Viz team).  I’ve put a “Credit – …” line above every movie.


Gravitational Wave Movies

These movies demonstrate the transition from the Newtonian theory of gravitation to Einstein’s General Relativity.

First we show two objects (e.g. a binary black hole) orbiting around one another as predicted by Newton: an orbit in a fixed spacetime.

Credit – Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

Then we show the same orbit, but with the curvature of spacetime, as predicted by Einstein

Credit – Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

Finally, we show the same relativistic orbit, but with the emission of gravitational waves.

Credit – Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

Here, we show what the spin vectors of a binary look like, as we consider spins that are aligned with the orbital angular momentum, in the orbital plane, and anti-aligned with the orbital direction.  The right plot shows what happens to the gravitational waveform for different spins.

Credit – Carl Rodriguez


Gravitational Wave Cartoons

A series of cartoons showing the effect on a grid of particles of a passing gravitational wave, and the effect of a gravitational wave on a circle of particles with a LIGO-style detector and a LISA-style detector.

Credit – Carl Rodriguez


Globular Cluster Movies

A beautiful simulation of a core of black holes inside a globular cluster, as modeled by an early version of RAPID.  This movie follows the dynamics of 60 black holes and 500 stars in the core, until two black holes are combined to form a black hole binary.

Credit – Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

An edited version of the same movie, accelerated to show the formation of the binary black hole.

Credit – Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

A movie, created using World Wide Telescope, showing two galactic globular clusters.  The movie starts by zooming in to M22, the first globular discovered, and then sweeps down the southern hemisphere to zoom in on 47 Tuc.

Credit – Carl Rodriguez

Two scattering tests, generated with John Fregeau’s Fewbody code, that shows typical encounters in a cluster.  The left movie shows a simple hyberbolic encounter, while the right movie shows what happens when a binary and single star interact.

Credit – Carl Rodriguez

A 5 minute movie, made with Medill Undergraduate Sam Rong, about black hole dynamics in globular clusters, and the implications for Advanced LIGO.  This movie was submitted to the Jackson Hole Science Film Festival, 2014.

Credit – Carl Rodriguez, Sam Rong, Northwestern Visualization

I was invited to give a talk at TEDx Northwestern in April of 2016.  Check it out!