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Bookmark and ShareHelen Czerski, photo by Alex BrennerEVENT CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Helen Czerski


NYS Writers Institute, Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus

Helen Czerski, physicist and BBC science television personality, will discuss her new book Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life (2017), which explores the science of popcorn, coffee stains, and other ordinary phenomena, on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will present an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany Uptown Campus. Free and open to the public, the events are cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, the Science Library of the University at Albany Libraries, and Women in Science and Health (WISH).

Storm in a Tea CupPROFILE:
Helen Czerski,
physicist, expert on the science of bubbles, and BBC television personality, is the author of the new book Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life (2017), a fun and accessible guide to the science of ordinary phenomena.

In Storm in a Teacup, Czerski argues that we’re surrounded by fascinating science all the time, but we don’t notice most of it. She provides the tools to alter the way we see the world by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. Along the way, she provides answers to vexing questions: How does water travel from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown? How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? In an engaging voice at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary. You may never look at your toaster the same way again.

The Guardian reviewer said, “Czerski’s engaging debut book seeks to demystify physics in everyday life, so whether you know your refraction from your reflection, or find the entire subject incomprehensible, this should be an invaluable primer. Dealing with the everyday – such as what really happens when you spill a few drops of coffee, or how magnetism really works – is a winning ploy. It enables Czerski to offer a mixture of erudition and enthusiasm to explain her chosen topics, leading the reader gently by the hand into some surprisingly complicated areas, but mostly keeping the discussion light, accessible and interesting…. [There’s] a great deal here to edify and to entertain.”

Czerski is the host of numerous BBC TV series on the subject of science, including Dangerous Earth (2016), Colour: The Spectrum of Science (2015), Super Senses: The Secret Power of Animals (2014), and Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey (2012), among others. The London Daily Telegraph said, “In Czerski… the BBC has finally found the female face of science television.” She also contributes a monthly column for BBC Focus magazine called “Everyday Science.”

Czerski earned a PhD in “experimental explosives physics” at Cambridge University in 2006. A fascination with very fast small-scale phenomena led her from explosives to the study of ocean bubble formation. She studied for four years at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, and the Graduate School of Oceanography in Rhode Island. Currently based at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London, her research interests include the optics and acoustics of ocean bubbles, the structure of the bubble plumes, and the influence of ocean bubbles on the atmosphere.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst