Student Winners Announced for Squishy Physics Photography Contest

The second annual Squishy Physics Food Photography Contest was held Saturday, February 2, at Georgia Tech’s Clough Undergraduate Learning Center. In conjunction with the Physics of Food and Cooking, Fernbank Science Center and educational partner Georgia Tech Physics Department gave metro Atlanta Middle and High School Students an opportunity to showcase their photographic talents. Students were asked to provide one 8” x 10” photographic entry with thought-provoking physical characteristics related to food or cooking. Prizes were awarded to contest winners based upon appearance, creativity and the connection between science and cooking.

This years winners were awarded certificates, ribbons and the following monetary gifts: Grand Prize of $150.00 and runner-up prizes of $100.00, $50.00 and Honorable Mention Award. Read More >>

Shear and compression of soft materials – How different can they be?
Juan Jose Lietor-Santos , Benjamin Sierra-Martin, Alberto Fernandez-Nieves
School of Physics, Georgia Tech

Famous physicist Richard Feynman said: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms -  little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied” [1]. Read more >>

Figure1. Sodium Chloride or salt. At room temperature, salt is a crystal based on sodium and chlorine atoms, which are arranged in a lattice [1].
Introduction to Squishy Physics
Alberto Fernandez-Nieves
School of Physics Georgia Tech

We are all familiar with crystalline materials, such as aluminum, ice or salt. They are what we would call hard materials: They are elastic, like springs, and return to their original state after strained a bit. They do not flow and are thus able to retain their shape. Microscopically, if we were to look inside and see the atoms or molecules on which they are based, we would realize that they are all located in very well defined positions, on average. We say the atoms are arranged in a certain structure or lattice (Figure 1). Crystals are thus ordered materials: The atoms are only located in lattice sites and nowhere else.

By contrast to these crystalline materials, liquids flow and do not have a specific shape; in fact, they adopt the shape of the container in which they are kept. At a microscopic level, liquids are very different from crystals. In a liquid, the atoms or molecules are completely disorganized and arranged in a random fashion. We say that the liquid is disordered: The atoms are located anywhere in space without any precise arrangement. Read More >>