Amazing Water — A Physicist’s View

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Geoff Wyvill


Report from the Art+Water, art and science project 2019.
Water is everywhere, familiar and necessary to life. My special interest in water began in 1985, when I started to write computer programs to simulate the appearance of water in ponds and streams to create animation. In 1999, with a group of students, I completed a five-year project to make a short movie1 which featured a waterfall, splashes, and the textures formed by sunlight in a shallow pool. The more I studied the behaviour of water, the more I came to realise that this most ordinary of materials, has the most extraordinary properties among liquids. To understand this idea properly, we must delve into a little atomic physics. This essay is based on a talk given to the Art+Water Project introductory meeting for scientists and artists, early in 2019.

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Author Biography

Geoff Wyvill, Emeritus Professor, Computer Science, University of Otago

Geoff Wyvill is an emeritus professor of computer science at The University of Otago. He studied physics at Oxford and computer science later at the University of Bradford. He is best known for his work in computer graphics where he has published over one hundred technical articles. He has produced or directed five short animated movies, three of which have been shown in international festivals. He is a director of the Dunedin company, Animation Research Limited, which he co-founded in 1991.