At Brookhaven, physicist Mark Dean in the Condensed Matter Physics department researches the properties of superconducting materials. He took a shot at explaining his work with the basic vocabulary allowed by the Ten Hundred Words challenge:
In our group we fire little bits of light at stuff and we check what happens to the bits of light after they hit the stuff we are interested in. By looking at where the bits of light go we can see where the little bits of stuff sit within the big bit of stuff. By looking at how the bits of light change color we can tell how the little bits of stuff move. People who make new things like phones, cars and houses then look at what we learned about the stuff and use it to make them better.
In the rendering above, an x-ray probe (blue) hits a high-temperature superconductor, then bounces back out with information on the spin of the electrons. In Ten-Hundred-Words speak, when the blue ‘bits of light’ change color into red light, we can tell more about how the electrons in superconductors move.