Organized by the Canadian Science Publishing, the Visualizing Science image contest is a scientific image (photographs, infographics, images from the lab, computer generated images, etc.) contest where entries are divided in three categories: from the lab, from the machine and from the field.
Dr. Valerio Faraoni of the Department of Physics and Astronomy was the From the Field winner of the 2020 edition. More than only a question of aesthetics, selected images needed to communicate a scientific phenomenon, and Dr. Faraoni’s photograph, A Canadian view of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, is not exception.
These freezing rain drops on arctic willows are regularly spaced. Gravity fights surface tension and a single periodic wave grows (Rayleigh-Taylor instability) and freezes, explains Dr. Faraoni. In a completely different context, hypothetical 5-dimensional black strings exhibit exactly the same instability, which makes them decay into black holes (the frozen drop analogues). (In my research,) I am looking for analogies between relativistic gravity and more ordinary systems or phenomena. During the past year, I looked at analogies between cosmology and oceanography, glaciology, earthquakes, and several other physical and natural phenomena, some of them with the help of Bishop’s undergraduates.