The Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition celebrates the power of photography in capturing scientific phenomena happening all around us and the role great images play in making science accessible to a wide audience. 

This year however, due to difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to postpone this year’s competition to 2021; further information will be available in due course.

Instead ILM looks back to the winning entries of 2019 in the categories of Astronomy; Behaviour; Earth Science and Climatology; Ecology and Environmental Science; and Micro-imaging. The overall competition winner was ‘Quantum Droplets’ by Aleks Labuda in the Micro-imaging category.

The winning image captured a real-world demonstration of the pilot-wave theory, first proposed in 1927 by French physicist Louis de Broglie, which theorises quantum particles are simultaneously waves and particles.

“These silicone oil droplets are bouncing indefinitely above a vibrating pool of silicone oil at 15 Hz,” said winning photographer and physicist Dr Aleks Labuda, who used a petri dish set atop a loud speaker to capture the wave-particle effects. “The surface waves generated by the droplets are analogous to quantum mechanical waves that guide the dynamics of quantum particles. While the droplets ‘move’ like quantum particles, they ‘behave like quantum waves.

Ecology and Environmental Science: ‘Fade to White’ by Morgan Bennett-Smith. “A juvenile Red Sea clownfish (Amphiprion bicinctus) looks out from between the clear tentacles of a bleaching sea anemone (Entacmea quadricolor) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. While reef-building corals may be the most direct victims of coral reef bleaching events, other species can be similarly affected. Some sea anemones, for example, also expel their colourful symbionts during periods of climactic stress.”

Earth Science and Climatology: ‘Twister in the Yukon’ by Lauren Marchant. “This photo was taken near to Kluane Lake Research Station in the Yukon, Canada. It depicts a large, cone-shaped, funnel cloud. A funnel cloud forms when water droplets are drawn in from the surrounding area by a rotating column of wind, making a region of intense low pressure visible to the human eye. Most tornados begin as funnel clouds. However, this funnel cloud never made contact with the ground and therefore could not be classified as a tornado.”

Behaviour: ‘Mudskipper Turf War’ by Daniel Field. “While photographing wading birds in the celebrating-the-power-of-science-through-photography/52512mous Mai Po wetlands, Hong Kong, I was distracted by the mesmerizing territorial displays of hundreds of bluespotted mudskippers near the shore. Adjacent individuals would frequently engage in brief skirmishes, allowing me to select the optimal angle for illustrating their aggressive interactions.”

Astronomy: ‘Halo’ by Mikhail Kapychka. “I suddenly saw an unusual lunar halo in the night sky and hurried outside the city into the forest of Mogilev, Belarus, to take a picture of it. A halo appears in the sky when several factors are combined. Often it is observed in frosty weather in conditions of high humidity. In the air at the same time there is a large number of ice crystals. Passing through them, the lunar or solar light is refracted in a special way, forming an arc around the moon or sun.”

Originally Publish at: https://www.labmate-online.com/