Technical photography competition 2015

Congratulations to the winner and all participants of the technical photography competition 2015. View all entries here. 

Winner - A Window into the Deep Earth

Image by John MacDonald Geographical & Earth Sciences

This rock outcrop in the Outer Hebrides is among the oldest rocks in Britain. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the swirling patterns are testament to millions of years of melting and compression deep within the Earth. A billion years of erosion and uplift have brought these rocks to the surface and give us a window through which to understand these deep processes.            

Winning entry photo 2015  

2nd  - Forming order from chaos

Image by Christopher Syme School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow

Cooling pentanol to well below its melting point creates a highly unstable ‘supercooled’ liquid that is poised to crystallise at any moment. Here, crystals burst forth from two sites causing the growth fronts to crash into each other creating a striking interface. The alignment of molecules in the crystal affects how polarised light is transmitted, producing regions of different colour and intensity. Understanding how liquids become solid is of fundamental importance but the mechanism is yet to be fully understood.

second photo comp 2015

Acknowledgements: EPSRC, Prof. Klaas Wynne, WestCHEM

3rd: - Mesophases in a sea of crystals

Image by Klaas Wynne and Joanna Mosses, School of Chemistry

It seems so simple: when you cool a liquid, it is supposed to crystallise. However, some liquids do not play along with the rules of this game and instead hide in a phase that refuses to crystallise. The photo shows one of these phases (the disks with the blue-and-black cross) that stubbornly lingers in an unusual nematic liquid phase.

Third photo comp 2015

Acknowledgements: We thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for support through Grants EP/F06926X, EP/J004790, and EP/J014478.

Honourable mention from Head of College

An algebraic snapshot of topology

Image by Liam Watson School of Mathematics and Statistics, Glasgow

Geometric information can sometimes be better understood by translating it into algebra. This backboard captures that process – key to understanding phenomena in low-dimensions – on a three-dimensional space. Pure mathematics is a science of how we think; this process is illustrative of how gains can be made by thinking about structure differently.

Fourth photo comp 2015