Giant Leaps

by Professor Karmadillo

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An album of scientific tunes, covering the beginning of the universe, genetics and the movement of molecules in air.


released February 29, 2012

Songs written by Professor Karmadillo. Mostly Performed by Professor Karmadillo and Ben Garnett with additional contributions from Gya Avern, Kate Fleet and Jon Craven.

Mixed by rishistar and Mastered by Eric @ Philosophers Barn Studios

Funded by The Arts Council


all rights reserved



Karmadillo Cambridge, UK

Home to Karmadillo and Singing Science (formally Professor Karmadillo!), this page is the place to get the charango based music oddities that cme out from Rishi's brain!

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Track Name: Nothing But Light
The Big Bang theory says things all started / with one big blast
Still, physicists have many queries / in particular they asked
From 14 billions years ago, at the beginning of our past
How did all this matter come to have a mass?

It starts with the Higgs field which permeates, through time and through space, in which when a particle moves it can make, itself have a permenant mass
The plain particle is a gauge boson, which moving in the field then goes on, to cause an interaction, gaining inertia due to the fields drag

the beginning universe was hot fiddling a la Nero, the Higgs field that existed was of type zero, not ready yet to be our mass creating hero, but with high potential energy
As things cooled down there was a phase transition, a non-zero Higgs field came into existence, settling to the lowest PE point on its curve, making particles inert

What if / there was no field of type Higgs
Electrons / Protons / neutrons wouldn't exist
We'd all just be particles photon like
No mass at all just light
At the start all was massless / there was nothing but light
Track Name: Catalyst
There's a reaction / I want to happen / Yeah I want it to take place
But it happens so slow / I want it to go / faster and quicken the pace
Luckily I know / to start the show / there's a way I can get my wish
All I need / to increase the speed / is find the right catalyst
Hand me a catalyst ! Bam Bam! x3

For example ammonia which has the formula NH3
Needs more than just nitrogen and hydrogen for making it with ease
The gases are mixed with an iron catalyst at a ratio of 1 to 3
The final twist a high pressure squish and 400 degrees

spoken middle
catalyst your worth it / your an idea that we worship / we kneel at the altar / of the ADSORPTION church
holding together molecules / that may not want to mix / so they can come together / and the reaction is made quick / all thanks to a catalyst

There's a reaction / I want to happen / the rate to increase
With a catalyst / I can make it quick / thanks to lower activation energies
Thats the threshold where a reaction goes on and tales place
Helping it go low / stops the go slow / making catalysts ace
Track Name: Brownian Motion
got Brownian motion / do you get the notion / behind my random moves / pushed by air molecules
Mostly its Nitrogen hanging round in pairs
21% of its oxygen there
Water vapour and noble gases are present....
...but pretty scarce

I give Brownian motion / do you get the notion / bounced like a fool / by air molecules
I can hang round close to the ground / transmitting pressure wave sounds / that bounce right / into your ears

and if the sounds are wrong / or too loud and too strong / don't blame me, I'm just an air molecule
I didn't write this song / just passing it on / just let go and bounce / like a fool

....whats this ... I'm dissolving into the body of water 40 miles off the coast of Norwich....I'm slowing down with a different crowd
I've got Brownian Motion / In the Pacific Ocean / joining in the liquid now /

I've got Brownian motion / even in the ocean / its just that down here / its a little slower
less energy to share around
thats why i've got less of a bounce

But I can't go where I choose and that gives me the blues
I'm stuck in my own private hell
I never make friends with other air molecules
Trapped in a Whitley Bay Smoke Cell
Chorus finale

But I can't go where I choose and that gives me the blues
Bouncing around is what I do
Bouncing around across research groups, across towns
I could be a metaphor for you
Track Name: You Must Be Mendel
You grew up on the family farm
Moved to a monastory with an experimental gar-den
Six years of wrapping bags around the flowers of plants
Giving us the music for the genetic dance

You analysed traits of the plants that give us peas
Then controlled how they got to breed
You then analysed the plants that grew from the seeds
Eventually proposing living things had genes

Growing 29000 plants was not the only trick
You still had to perform some Mendel arithmetic
Probabilities of hybrids, dominant and recessive traits
Giving us genetics and showing us the way

You must be Mendel Mendel Mendel Mendel yeay oh yeah

Its a shame they didn't believe / in the theory you got from you plants
It was only after you died / that they gave the peas a chance
Track Name: GFP
A cell contains much DNA
But a decade ago, it was hard to say
To tell which genes were being activated
Without obvious phenotypes we would be frustrated

Lets face it, a cell is complicated
Trying to find out when and where a protein is made is
hard, but Shimomura et al gave us our wish?
Copying the natural process in a jelly fish

There are times when we need to see
If a cell encodes a particular protein
If we want to do that we can tag the gene
With the magic that is GFP

Genes contain a stop and start
In between lies the active part
So to see if the gene is being activated
We put the GFP making sequence into these places

Then let the cell get on with its life
Doing its thing and by turning on a light
We can see just how much GFP shines
Where the protein has been made will be green and bright

GFP - Green Fluorescent Protein
GFP - Green Fluorescent Protein
GFP - Green Fluorescent Protein
I want to know if there's expression of this gene
Get its output to 'glow' so it can be seen - G F P
Track Name: Dark Matter
They measured and got / strange results / estimating masses of galaxies
They measured what? / luminous / EM radioactivity
The calculations showed / that they were owed / some mass to fit the theories
Conclusion was / there must be stuff / that you and I cannot see

Evidence came / as it must / in 1933
Thanks to the / Galaxy Cluster Coma / and Fritz Zwicky
he compared / galaxies near the edge / and what we could see
There was more mass there / than luminosity led / all of us to believe

We can't see them / we can't hear them
But we know Dark Matters there!
Thanks to the Virial Theorem
We know Dark Matters there!

It doesn't emit / or reflect and scatter / thats why you can't see dark, dark matter

I'm just a poor boy, give me your sympathy, trying to find something that cannot be seen
Look up to the skys, its trying to hide, from inference and tools we've got on our side
some try with detectors, deep underground, where there are less cosmic rays around
a particle might, hit a cooled atom just right, giving a heat trace that sets off the light

Its hard to find it, but if we're denied it, so many theories shatter
gravitational lensing, causes bending, assists in the theories defending
a galaxys, kinetic energy, is far greater than it should be
if all the mass was what we could see, and virial theorem to be believed

We can't see them / we can't hear them
But we know Dark Matters there!
Thanks to the Virial Theorem
We know Dark Matters there!
Track Name: ConCERNing Higgs
there's a .... Standard Model of Particle Physics
And you'll find that in it
is a set of elementary particles

Of all of these
there's still one to be seen
We need to know if it exists and so we seek

Its called the Higgs-Boson
And the hunt for it goes on
sighting it would confirm Standard Theory

And so to find out if
We needed got our wish
For a particle accelerator of high energy

Its not just amazing physics
there's engineering to go with it
miles and miles of precisey placed machines

Its a huge facility
Magnets accelerate proton beams
into each other at high velocities

Neutrons and protons are
hadrons, and when they go fast
and collide it's hoped the debris will reveal

a Higgs-Boson to be seen
confirming Standard Theory
and provide hints on supersymmetry

Thats why they look inside a, Large Hadron Collider, to find a, son of a particle gun
Set sail, cos we've got to know, set sail, cos we've got to show, head for CERN in Switzerland

The small particles of fast moving matter / when they collide will shatter / the bits inside will leave tracks as they scatter
Large amounts of data will abound / and will the Higgs Boson be found? / Or will the Standard model be left in tatters?
Track Name: The 4th Paradigm
Its not just the sun when we look up that leaves us blind
Its the data that comes from telescopes pointed up in to the skies
There's no escaping it, its in our DNA when we look down deep inside
Always generating bits
from whatever exists
we can measure and record all life

How did we a create a world with so much data?

At first we used to observe and intrude
Then propose, experiment, conclude
Three was modelling and compute
But four is here now for our use

How did we a create a world with so much data?
We don't let it frustrate us
Instead we've embraced the
the fourth paradigm
Track Name: Graphene
There are many forms in which we've used Carbon
Coal has helped us keep the lights on
So we can see the sparkling Diamonds
For the 21st century there's a new one

We've known for ages the allotrope that is graphite
Its structure shows why it helps us to write
Loosely bound layers which over each other slip
And if you take just one layer thats a single atom thick

What's the most exciting way it'll be used?
Could it when it's rolled up as a nanotube
Could it be inside electronics?
Not bad for something the guy who thought of it, thought could never exist

Graphene its time to live the dream
The most sexy carbon allotrope since Buckminster-Fullerine
The first modern pieces were made / from granite with sellotape
Forming tiny tiny tiny tiny graphene flakes
Track Name: Ode To Arabidopsis
A Musicians fave plant's supposed to be marijuana
But I prefer A dot thaliana
Unravelling DNA and all the drama
that entails

A model organism standing alone
With your 5 delectable chromosones
Your genes provide a knockout selection
That I just wanna grow

Why are there no pop hits / about arabidopsis
And all the hard work you doooo for plant science
noone knows your story / roses get the glory
but lets celebrate you in these modern times

The basis of so many papers
the science you inspire will go on 'n shape us
Working on in quiet
that's just the way you are

That the public don't know you, that's unfair
But they can get your genome, thanks to TAIR
all the info is there

Why are there no pop hits / about arabidopsis
And all the hard work you doooo for plant science
noone knows your story / roses get the glory
but lets celebrate you in these modern times

A girls favourite flower is of the genus rosa
But a man who gives you those is just a poser
I wanna woman who knows the
ideas that mustard seeds

A hundred years from now they'll forget these days
How your 100 million plus base pairs paved the way
helping scientists investigate
the function of genes in the DNA

Why are there no pop hits / about arabidopsis
And all the hard work you doooo for plant science
noone knows your story / roses get the glory
but lets celebrate you in these modern times
Track Name: The Phylogenetic Me
I am just a leaf
On the phylogenetic tree
Swaying in the breeze
Its so beautiful to see

Tracing through the lines the lines
Showing how we're all defined
Relations through the eras
Bringing all life forms so much nearer

Sit, and look, in wonder, at how we all got here
Stand, and stare, and ponder at evolution through so many years

Some might say how?
By looking at the life of now
Genes and fossils show
Just how far back together we go

Common genes can indicate
When our ancestors were once the same
The ones we do not share
Tell us when if not where

Sit, and look, in wonder, at how we all got here
Stand, and stare, and ponder at evolution through so many years

Close your eyes
Go back in time
Experience the feeling
Of being one with so many other beings

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