Amazing Water — A Physicist’s View


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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