Image Competition Winners

We are pleased to announce the winner of the Nonlinear and Complex Physics Image Competition.  Thank you for all the entries to the image competition, which show both the breadth and beauty of complex and nonlinear phenomena.

The winning image was submitted by Finn Box, who took the image whilst completing a PhD with Tom Mullin at the University of Manchester.  He received the £100 prize:


The image is concerned with transition to turbulence in the flow along a pipe, which is considered to be one of the greatest challenges of classical Physics. Theory predicts that the flow should be smooth and laminar for all flow rates, however, the most common flow in practice is rough and turbulent. The image illustrates the transition process where dye lines show the complex structures that exist between laminar and turbulent flows.

Runner up James Christian from the University of Salford sent a fantastic image also, which made the work of the judging panel difficult:


Complexity in laser optics: two-dimensional virtual-source predictions of the light intensity for lowest-loss (left) and next-lowest-loss (right) fractal modes in an unstable resonator.  The feedback mirror has a shape corresponding to the fourth iteration of a Gosper Island curve, and its edge is marked by the white line.

Runner up Massimo Stella also sent us a picture from his doctoral studies, at the University of Southampton:


Nonlinear and complexity physics is about non-local and non-trivial interactions, as reported in the idealised network representation (left) of a subsample of a bird flock (right). Nodes are reported as boids and they represent birds, influencing each other either via local coordination with nearby birds (blue links) or through long range speed correlations (green links). The blue skeleton of spatial interactions is represented here as a Bethe lattice, whose regular topology allows to formulate several models of statistical mechanics as exactly solvable. When modelling non-linearities in real-world systems, the ordered structure of a Bethe lattice is only an approximation. Complexity physics is distinctively characterised by non-local interactions, which can ultimately give rise to emergent phenomena at the scale of observation of the whole system. For instance, long range correlations on speed allow for birds to influence each other over long distances, thus giving rise to the fascinating shapes of bird flocks (cf. Cavagna et al., Scale-free correlations in starling flocks, (PNAS, 107(26), 11865-11870, 2009).

Thank you again for all the entries.