> Nerd Nite Chapter 14

Nerd Nite Chapter 14

Last chance to nerd it up this year! Where did the time go? While our illustrious speakers will not be answering that particular question (well they might if you ask them directly), they will be answering many more.

Alrighty, first up we have Craig Stevens; a professional physical oceanographer and amateur noise maker based in Wellington. Field expeditions have taken him from Cook Strait to Antarctica; from water-filled mine pits in Canada to tidal turbines in the U.K.; from inland seas in Europe to the southern ocean. Someone has to do it. Craig will be speaking about ‘Ocean Turbulence – The Earth System Viewed from the Perspective of a Record Needle’

Quote: [Horace Lamb attr.] I am an old man now, and when I die and go to Heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather more optimistic.

Energy gets put into the earth system at celestial scales (tides, solar heating) and does its thing driving atmospheres and oceans – but we sort of fudge the dissipation of all this energy with somewhat ad hoc numbers in computer models. Craig’s science is to try and capture this turbulent dissipation of energy which happens at tiny scales (say ~ 2 mm) and relate it back to global scales. The approach evolved out of looking for submarine wakes after WWII but it’s not far off strapping a record needle to a torpedo and shooting it through the ocean looking for the “sound of turbulence”.

Next up, we have Keith Giles, Photographic Collections Librarian at the Sir George Grey special Collections, Auckland Central Library talking about 19th century New Zealand photographers. In this case we shall let the pictures tell a thousand words (or a thousand words per picture? That would be a lot of words…)


Last but not least is Joseph Nichols from the University of Auckland Microfabrication Lab, who will lead “A discussion of the Scale on the Universe with a Micro machinist.” Joseph will be talking about some of the cool things they do to exploit the incredibly unique properties of the “tiny” universe – and how it all ties in with everything that we can see and do from a scientific and engineering viewpoint.

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