25/10/2019 : Mysterious Science Icicles

Mysterious Science of Icicles

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Mysterious Science Icicles

Mysterious Science of Icicles Icicles are beautiful and a common sight in cities during the winter. To scientists, however, they're a puzzle. No computer can perfectly predict the shape of an icicle before it grows. Each icicle behaves in a self-directed way, yet weirdly, when ripples form, they always have a wavelength of 1 cm, no matter how cold it is or how big the icicle is. The ideal icicle is a universal "platonic" shape, but morphological instability causes many natural icicles to exhibit a ripply shape. The shape emerges from a subtle feedback between ice formation and the flow of water over the evolving icicle. To explore icicles physics, Professor Morris and his team built a one-of-a-kind icicle-growing machine. In this lecture, Stephen will share what it takes to make a platonic icicle and the surprising origin of the ripples.

Professor Professor Stephen Morris, University of Toronto Stephen Morris is a Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto, and a previous J. Tuzo Wilson chair. H His research involves experiments on emergent patterns in fluids, granular media, ice formations and fracture. He is also interested in natural patterns, and in the history of physics. Stephen studied icicles for years and is among the world experts on the topic, if not the leading one.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the winner of several University of Toronto awards for teaching excellence. He has sometimes exhibited his scientific images as art and his work has been intermittently profiled on the Discovery Channel.   This is a FREE IMI Public Lecture, open to all with a ticket.
Enquiries Nia Fenn [email protected] 01225 385245

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