"Extraordinary art from ordinary fluids" is the way Jean Hertzberg describes the first assignment to 20 students in her interdisciplinary course, "Flow Visualization: The Physics & Art of Fluid Flow," at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Students in the class photographed such things as cream dropping into hot tea, smoke generated by blowing out candles, and a gasoline-diesel mixture burning on top of water, among other physical phenomena.
The students went on to photograph the fluid dynamics of clouds and then worked in teams to create more complex compositions.
A final exhibit from the course, which is co-taught by Hertzberg of mechanical engineering and Alex Sweetman of art and art history, will be presented May 4 and May 5 in the Connections Gallery, located in the lobby of the CU-Boulder Engineering Center at Regent Drive and Colorado Avenue.
The exhibit will open at 10 a.m. May 4 and close at 5 p.m. May 5. A reception for the students and their families will be held at 4 p.m. on the last day.
Hertzberg and Sweetman have co-taught the Flow Visualization course for the last three years. It has attracted a mix of art and engineering students.
"Since teaching this course, I feel like I've come out of the closet because for the first time, I express how I feel about fluid mechanics," Hertzberg said. "I study it because it's beautiful."
For more information on the course and to view student work from past classes, visit www.colorado.edu/MCEN/flowvis.