No Photo on File

Dr. Kris Poduska

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Date of Live Presentation: Tue, 28-Mar-2017
Location: Trinity Western University


Shark skin, butterfly wings, and lotus leaves: the physics of water on rough surfaces


Self-cleaning walls and anti-fogging windows sound futuristic, but this future is already here! This talk will describe the physics behind why the roughness of a surface changes the way water interacts with it. Will a drop of water bounce, roll, or stick? Will ice crystals form? The answers involve fascinating physics that focuses on controlling the balance between energies associated with solid, liquid, gas interfaces at both micrometer-range and nanometer-range length scales. Along the way, you'll also see how this physics has been informed by knowledge gained from studying intricate water-repellent surfaces from the natural world, including shark skin, butterfly wings, and lotus leaves.

Short bio

Kris Poduska is an experimental condensed matter physicist based at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she has been on the faculty in the Department of Physics & Physical Oceanography since 2003. Originally from the United States, Dr. Poduska holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota, USA), and a Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University. Her research is a blend between physics and chemistry, focusing on understanding structural and physical property relations in inorganic materials. The applications of the work span from technologically relevant semiconductors, to medically interesting biomaterials, to ancient archaeological materials.

Return to previous page