Particles in bright colors form a tartan pattern

Image credit: Joel Clemmer

In disarray

When the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy decided to spruce up its concrete walls, it held a contest for art derived from the coursework and research conducted in the building. Physics doctoral student Joel Clemmer, A&S '15 (MA), submitted a graphic representation of the intricate patterns that can occur when a disordered set of particles, such as bubbles in foam or rocks in the Earth's crust, is slowly deformed, allowing the particles to collectively rearrange over large scales. Clemmer simulated particles in a two-dimensional surface that had been compressed vertically while stretched horizontally. The length of each line corresponds to the magnitude of displacement, and the color indicates direction.