Thursday Talks - 28/04/2016

Visualizing E = mc2

Speaker: Dr. Prasenjit Saha (Physik-Institut, UZH)

Mass and energy are equivalent. Why should it take lots of mathematics to explain that? It doesn't -- we just need:

1. Einstein's insight that time and space can be different for different observers, but the speed of light is always the same
2. simple computer graphics, and
3. some reasoning.

Snow metamorphosis and on site avalanche risk assessment

Speaker: Claudio Cadel (University of Zurich):

Snow is constantly reshaped by temperature changes, melting and mechanical forces. As an alpinist, I routinely assess the avalanche risk during ski trips relying on scientific forecast models and on site impressions. Based on an exemplary trip, I try to visualize the amazing physics of snow, its consequences for snow layer stability and how this affects my decisions where to ski.