Blowing hot and cold

July 22, 2010

These flames are fighting to survive moments before being extinguished by freezing air.

The picture was taken by Robert Gordon, Royal Society Newton International Fellow at the University of Cambridge. His work on the physics of flame extinction could aid aviation safety - an aircraft risks losing power if cold air puts out the flames in its jet engines.

The image won first prize in the Carl Zeiss photography competition at Cambridge's department of engineering. In second place was a picture of a turbine wheel and in third place an image of a crystal of zinc oxide.

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