Summer 2006 Web Photo Contest

Return to the Contests forum
Login to post to this thread

Sigma Pi Sigma Congress Art Gallery - January 22, 2009 at 6:16
Society of Physics...
293 Posts

I was really impressed by the variety and relevance of the pieces that were shown at FermiLab last November. There's jewelry, photos, mixed media and some very colorful, thought-provoking items. Here's a link:

Adjunct Professor of Physics, Editor of The Physics Teacher, and GWU SPS Chapter Advisor

SEM - August 5, 2006 at 7:22
Virginia Tech, Bla...
8 Posts

Hey, I'd like to throw this in while we're still on the topic of cool pictures. My grad student mentor (for my REU) and I got to play with the Scanning Electron Microscope here at Stanford GLAM (Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials) where I've been working this summer. It was totally awesome!! We looked at surface topography of my polymer:pcbm (buckyball derivative) solar cells. Check it out:

SEM Pictures

Web Photo Contest Winners - August 3, 2006 at 8:58
Dave Avatar
San Marcos, Texas
431 Posts

The winners of the 2006 Mid-Summer contest are:

Thank you to all participants!

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein

giant water ellipsoid - August 3, 2006 at 7:33
Society of Physics...
293 Posts

Here's a cool image from the American Association of Physics Teacher's website---

or is their home page where I first saw this giant water ellipsoid

...a little too late for Nucleus contest, but very neat anyway...AAPT has a photo contest every year in the summer and often has some great pictures about this time...

Adjunct Professor of Physics, Editor of The Physics Teacher, and GWU SPS Chapter Advisor

My funny pictures... - July 31, 2006 at 8:11
Kyle Balliet
1 Posts

When you have too many Co-60 sources and a PM tube:

Yeah.... there were 32 Co-60's under that PM tube...

Also I have a rather funny poster:

Snow Day! - July 30, 2006 at 6:20
Rhett Herman
1 Posts

OK, so it's not necessarily something to do with great physics. However, it does show a strong group of physics majors coming together on a snowy day to have some fun. On campuses with small programs such as ours, it's a large part of our program to build a strong sense o comraderie. Students do better in such environments, and it strengthens our major overall, including academically since they feel connected as a group in both their play and their work.

Z Machine - July 30, 2006 at 4:46
Kyle Rogoff
1 Posts

This is the world's largest x-ray generator, at Sandia National Labs; the picture is my current wallpaper.

More at wikipedia:

Current Replies - View all
Re: Z Machine   (Anna - July 30, 2006 at 9:19)
Here Is My Choice - July 28, 2006 at 9:33
Austin Basye
2 Posts

Nano-guys with a sense of humor... Who would have thought?


At the speed of light - July 28, 2006 at 7:02
2 Posts

This image shows a physics major adjusting the mirrors on a folded path speed of light experiment. Notice Maxwell's equations on the chalkboard.

Current Replies - View all
Re: At the speed of light   (Dave - July 29, 2006 at 10:16)
My Contribution - July 28, 2006 at 6:51
Hardin Dunham Avatar
Hardin Dunham
8 Posts

Ok, I had to contribute...  Enjoy :)

----- Begin Caption -----

This is a picture of me firing a Polish AK47 'Underfolder'.  Note the ejected shell at the top!  What's more cool that shooting an AK47??  How about an AK47 that you built yourself!!!   As a Texan, being a firearms enthusiast is quite common.  But as a physicist, the appeal is even greater.

I personally fabricated this AK47 from an imported 'parts kit'.  The receiver (the part that is the firearm, legally) was constructed from an 80% receiver flat.  With some help of fellow gun enthusiasts we fabricated the receivers to 100%, welded the firearm together, 'parkerized' and 'duracoated' them (types of refinishing).  This is a picture of me firing the rifle at its first outing at the range.  True to the AK47 I was only shooting ~15MOA, though after some sight adjustments I got her down to under 8MOA.

Firearms are one of the greatest demonstrations of physics at work!

----- End Caption -----

This firearm was built under Texas laws and BATFE rules and guidelines, following all 922(r) requirements.  This AK47 is a semi-automatic and is chambered for 7.62x39mm cartridges.

Democracy is 3 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

mechanics fractals and noses - July 28, 2006 at 5:08
zyxtan Avatar
30 Posts

I was playing around with an odd mechanics problems when I stumbled upon a numerical routine for the Julia set. Curious as to who this Julia guy was...I found out he did not have a nose.

It takes a big man to keep teaching with a nose patch!

Orion's Belt - July 28, 2006 at 12:36
Jason Smolinski
1 Posts

Here's a beautiful multi-filter picture of Orion's Belt revealing the nebulous gas and including the Horsehead nebula if you look close.

Nanoflower Bouquet - July 20, 2006 at 9:59
Virginia Tech, Bla...
8 Posts

Here is the original image:

But I sort of like the bright blue version of this one better:

At any rate, it's the same picture. The image is of a nanoflower bouquet, which is actually a complex structure of silicon carbide nanowires grown from a vapor phase. The morphology of this thing can be precisely controlled by varying the growth conditions, which can result in all kinds of neat configurations. These particular structures were created at the Nanoscience Center at the University of Cambridge,  UK, and the image was published in EMBO reports and can be found on

I, personally, think this is absolutely amazing. The picture is incredibly beautiful, and it's just so striking that some tiny network of nanowires can create something that looks like a bouquet of flowers. People don't usually think of flowers as a "collection of tiny particles" or anything of the sort, and find that they are just aesthetically pleasing because they're in front of you and they're pretty. Whereas with this picture, you're looking at something that resembles a flower, but it's beautiful and captivating not only because it's a flower and it's pretty, but also because as a scientist, you become instantly fascinated with what this thing actually is and how it was created, and then come full circle to the realization that, "hey, it's kind of like a flower, and it's really pretty."

This is actually probably one of the coolest and most memorable pictures I've ever seen.

Anna Belak
Dept. of Physics
Virginia Tech

Current Replies - View all
Re: Nanoflower Bouquet   (Gary - July 28, 2006 at 8:35)
Deadline Extended! - July 19, 2006 at 11:17
Dave Avatar
San Marcos, Texas
431 Posts

The deadline for the contest has been extended to July 31st, so get those picture links in!


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein

Univ. of Texas at Arlington's Cloud Chamber Link - July 6, 2006 at 10:14
Jaehoon Yu
1 Posts

We, the SPS at UTA, was one of the awardees of the 2006 National SPS chapter research grant.  Our proposal is to perform various research on
could chamber to build a perpetually running large scale cloud chamber.  We have had a few workshops to make progress.  The link to our web site is  You can find a few
video clips there that we took with our prorotype chamber (built using the
funds provided by the NSPS grant).  I am submitting this as the candidate
for the "cool" site.  It is cool not only because it shows could chamber in
action but also the chamber is built by our own hands using the NSPS funds.

Enjoy the beautiful art of the nature.

Dr. Jaehoon Yu
Department of Physics
University of Texas at Arlington

The 2006 Solar Eclipse - June 30, 2006 at 12:03
Stephanie Sears
1 Posts

This is one of the most striking pictures from the last total soalr eclipse, which occured on March 29, 2006.  Although the eclipse reached totality over northern Africa and Turkey, the shadow touched the earth from Brazil to the northern border of Mongolia.  This picture reminds me that in the midst of fascinating scientific discovery, awe-inspring natural phenomenon have a beauty all their own.

A fellow SPS member and myself looked into getting ourselves to Brazil in order to observe the eclipse; having physics minded-observers to report back to our chapter seemed like a worth-while and enriching endeavor.  We were unable to make the trip, however, and "watched" the eclipse through the pictures posted by other observers.

Although I had to watch this eclipse through other people's eyes, I am already planning how to be in the path of totality for the August 2017 eclipse.

Asteroid 2004 XP14 - June 30, 2006 at 9:36
1 Posts

This is the orbital view of an asteroid which will pass pretty close to the Earth on July 3rd.

The question is: How close will it actually pass, based on the information provided?

How does earth's gravitational field alter the orbit?

The report is that it will travel almost too fast to view except with a tracking scope (it will NOT be bright, the astronomers think).

So the next question is how fast is it really moving given its range and the angular velocity? We may have to wait until it passes to get some more info...have you ever tried to watch the space shuttle when it launches, using a pair of binoculars? It's hard to do...

It is interesting that by reviewing this NASA site for Near Earth Objects that there is a large collection of similar debris that bear paying attention to.

A lot of things to think about if the floods haven't hit you first!

String Theory - June 29, 2006 at 9:35
Drew Hanley
1 Posts

There is the link to my picture of choice above, and here is the containing site:

I chose this picture for its simplicity in demonstrating the String Theory.  Simplicity with such a complex theory is to be appreciated!  The picture, for me, has a special metaphor behind it.  Brian Green came to my campus (Alma College, Michigan) as a guest speaker and did a wonderful job of explaining this most complex theory at a level which any Jonnie Q. Non-Physics could understand it.  This man has an ability to get people interested who never expressed interest in physics before, which is to be commended.  So this picture demonstrates taking a complex theory and making it simple, like Brian Green has done.

Contest Rules Etc. - June 29, 2006 at 4:51
Dave Avatar
San Marcos, Texas
431 Posts

We want you to scour the web and find the most interesting picture you can.  Post a link to the picture in this forum, along with a short (maximum of 150 of your own words) explanation of why you think it's interesting.  Pictures do not need to be scientific, but hey, this is a physics site.  Up to three winners will be chosen by The Nucleus staff.  Winners will be chosen based on both the picture and the explanation.  Winners will receive fabulous prizes such as choice of a physics t-shirt from the SPS store or rainbow pens and glasses.  Deadline for entries is July 15th.


Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein

about the Nucleus - terms - privacy - faq - sitemap