Light is slowed to the speed of an Olympic sprinter as it passes through a ruby. Photo: Emma Wisniewski-Barker

Winner: Slow light

Image: Emma Wisniewski-Barker

Light is slowed to the speed of an Olympic sprinter as it passes through a ruby. Bright and dark regions of an image are slowed by similar amounts, which requires storage of the optical energy. Understanding slow light is a step towards faster and more efficient all-optical computer processing.

Calcite fibres of a brachiopod shell. Photographer: Maggie Cusack

2nd: Calcite fibres of a Brachiopod shell


Crytallographic orientation map of the calcite fibres of the shell of the brachiopod, Terebratulina retusa. Fibres are 10 microns wide. Image generated by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis. Colours indicate crystallographic orientation. Since each fibre has a single colour, this indicates that they are each single crystals.

Digital Terrain Model. Image: Robin Seet

Joint 3rd: Digital terrain model

Image: Robin Seet

Deriving the coastal low-water line helps fix the maritime boundary of a nation and monitoring line movements allows detection of erosional or accretional changes to beach and nearshore seabed.Erosion and flood risk is determined by elevating the low-water line to predicted future sea levels.

Original microstructure photography of Ti-alloy by Scanning Electron Microscope(SEM) technique. Photo: Nan Qi

Joint 3rd: Scientific bowknot

Image: Nan Qi

Here shows an original microstructure photography of Ti-alloy by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) technique. Coincidentally, the alloy segregation forms a similarly bowknot shape, which is full of aesthetic feeling and impresses us upon the magic and fun of our scientific exploration field.