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Photography Hobby Taking Off for Mathematician Adam

Cloud image of Frisbee thrower

John Adam, University Professor of mathematics and statistics at Old Dominion University, often takes photographs to illustrate his books and articles about math-based patterns and phenomena in nature. Now other science publications and exhibits are using his photos also.

He has a photograph in a book coming soon, "Clouds That Look Like Things," from the Cloud Appreciation Society (www.cloudappreciationsociety.org). It's a whimsical photo called "Frisbee Thrower Over Alberta, Canada," and sure enough, the altocumulus clouds in the picture do resemble a person just letting loose of a Frisbee.

"Hardly academic, but fun nevertheless," Adam quipped.

Next week a photo exhibit opens at the National Science Foundation building in Arlington, Va., that includes an Adam original shot of a green leaf with water droplets. The exhibit is called "The Atmosphere Exposed: Photographs of Halos, Mirages, Iridescent Clouds… and More!" It is designed to be a traveling exhibit that will be put on display throughout the country.

The current exhibit has been edited down from a larger exhibit by the same name that debuted in conjunction with the 10th International Light and Color in the Open Air Conference held in June 2010 at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Also, a recent issue of Optics and Photonics News has an article, "Light and Color in Nature," that features a fascinating photo by Adam of a reflection of a leafless tree in a pond. Water in the foreground of the photo is still, while the remainder of the pond has patterned ripples. The article's authors write that they consider the photo to be a puzzle and ask, "What is going on here?" A clue about how to "read" the photo is provided at the end of the article. (See http://www.osa-opn.org/Content/ViewFile.aspx?Id=13159)

This article was posted on: January 5, 2012

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