2010 Contest

Winners of the 2010 Contest

Watch the entire Photo/Image show here.

1st Place:

Sand Strings by Jie Ren (Graduate Student, Duke Physics)

Image: Sand Strings

Image Caption: Granular materials, such as sand, behave in a surprising way: they can flow like a liquid, yet carry weight like a solid. We employ photographic techniques to study this behavior in a two dimensional model system: we use transparent disks made of photo-elastic material that changes its optical properties when subjected to a force. Images such as shown reveal the otherwise hidden and intricate force network between the particles, and continue to give surprising new insights in the interesting behavior of something as common as sand.


2nd Place:

Bubbles in a Petri Dish by Joshua Dijksman (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Duke Physics)

Image: Bubbles in a Petri Dish

Image Caption: This is an image of a layer of UV-light exposed fluorescent foam bubbles in a petri dish, squeezed between a liquid and the confining lid. Such monolayers of bubbles are used as a model system to study the intricate and poorly understood mechanical behavior of disordered systems like sand, mayonnaise and, yes, shaving foam. This image is one of the first proof-of-principles that shows that a fluorescent dye in the fluid can greatly facilitate recognizing the foam bubbles, which in these studies is an essential yet otherwise strenuous task.


3rd Place and People's Choice Awardee:

Rain on Windshield by Lola Kelleher (Senior at New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies)

Image: Rain on Windshield

Image Caption: The rain illuminates moving traffic during a torrential storm, from behind a car window. The combination of movement, light,and reflection created the illusion of an Aurora Borealis-like sky. The rainstorm which was once a dreary misfortune became a sublime marvel with the lens of my camera.

Honorable Mentions:

Broken by John Dolbow (Faculty, Duke Civil & Environmental Engineering)

Image: Broken

Image Caption: Broken: Embedded finite element simulation of dynamic fracture in an expanding ring.   â€¨ 


UFO by Yuejun Zhao (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Duke Mechanical Engineering & Material Science)

Image: UFO

Image Caption: U.F.O. (Unidentified Floating Object): On a flat hydrophobic surface subject to a linear temperature gradient, a droplet of water-heptanol mixture takes on the shape of an “UFO”. The binary droplet is driven by interfacial stresses toward the colder region, leaving a wake behind. Since the exact mechanism is still unknown, the self-propelling droplet is named an UFO (“unidentified floating object”) for now.


Popcorn Math by Martin Hautefeuille (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Duke Civil & Environmental Engineering)

Image: Popcorn Math

Image Caption: Mathematics of a popcorn flake






Agave by Gwendolyn Williams (Graduate Student, Duke Biology)

Image: Agave

Image Caption: This species of agave displays ghostly impressions on its leaves, reflecting its pattern of growth and development. Photographed in the mountains of Tamaulipas, Mexico.














Ceiling Light Through Water Glass by Elliott Hagedorn (Graduate Student, Duke Genetics & Genomics)

Image: Ceiling Light Through Water Glass

Image Caption: Ceiling light through a drinking glass. Image was taken by placing the camera lens inside of a drinking glass and pointing it towards a ceiling light in the room.