Left to right: the first and second prize images.

Institute of Physics South West regional photography competition success

College Artist in Residence Pery Burge and physicist Professor Pete Vukusic were recently awarded first and second prize respectively at the Institute of Physics South West regional photography competition. 

The competition entitled 'Physics in the South West’ looked for the best photo and explanation on this topic. Prizes were presented at the IoP Festival of Physics on Saturday 3 March, by the president of the IoP Professor Sir Peter Knight. The chief judge was Professor Matin Durrani, editor of 'Physics World' after short listing had been completed by the IoP SW regional committee.

Pery’s entry, called 'Sci-fi Garden growing', shows two stages in the development of soap film, separated by less than one second. It was created recently in the Fluids lab, Harrison Building, using equipment built especially for her by the Workshop. In the image, vortices have grown like plants through the oncoming flow, becoming rounded and sometimes bifurcating as each set of shapes from 'foreground' and 'background' modifies the other.

Pete Vukusic’s image depicts the Cyphochilus beetle, a native of SE Asia, which has evolved an astonishingly efficient nanostructural system with which it creates ultra-bright whiteness from a very thin layer of scales that cover its body.  Pete and his team of physicists have been working with scientists at Imerys Plc in Cornwall, to try to apply the biological efficient whiteness and brightness principles to the production of bright white synthetic surfaces, such as those found in paper, ceramics and paint.

Pery said “Because I'm an artist working in the scientific domain, this prize from the IOP is particularly special for me.” She was enormously pleased with her winning prize of a Kindle, as it is a great way for her to catch up with reading, especially whilst on the move.  

For more information on Pery's role within the College, please see our Artist in Residence page.

For further information on Pete's research, please see the Electromagnetic Materials Research group pages

Date: 9 March 2012

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