The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Cool Physics Photos

Every year the American Association of Physics Teachers hosts a photo contest for high school students. Student can take photos in two categories: Natural and Contrived.  Natural shots are not staged whereas contrived shots can be set up in advance to illustrate a certain physics principle.  In addition to the photo, the student must write a short (a paragraph or two) explanation of the physics illustrated in the photo.  There are no awards, but students can submit photos that are digital compilations as well.

Well, this year they placed the top 100 photos online.  These photos do not include the descriptions, unfortunately.  They have a special page with the winners that include the descriptions for this set.

Peruse the photos…a lot of them are pretty cool even if you don’t know what they are illustrating.  Here is a sample, the 1st price in the contrived category this year.

It was taken by Joshua John Garcia from Kuna High School.  His description is

“Using a high speed camera, the instant of a hand slapping a stomach was captured. This activity caused a shockwave that originated at the hand to move across the stomach. This shockwave is in the shape of the hand. The shockwave was created by the transfer of energy from the hand to the stomach. The kinetic energy from the hand was transferred to the skin of the stomach and moves across the torso of the body.”

Kind of disturbing but cool at the same time…great shot!  Be sure to check out the others.  They have winners online dating back to 1998.


August 19, 2010 - Posted by | Physics

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