Hachem Kassem, an SMMI PhD researcher based in Ocean and Earth Science, gave a talk as part of the SMMPG seminar series, on turbulence and its role is shaping the beach. His talk, enthusiastically called “Turbulence and the Beach” answered our much sought after question, ‘what does Hachem actually study?’. Attempting to present the most complex problem in classical physics to an audience of non-physicists, Hachem presented ample examples of turbulence in nature and engineering from the daily cup of coffee to the raging storms on Jupiter. Art depicting nature such as van Gogh’s Stormy night, and a selection of historical quotes often highlighting the frustration of those who endeavoured to study this problem, where heavily featured, with quotes like:
“Turbulence was probably invented by the Devil of the seventh day of creation (when the Good Lord wasn’t looking (Bradshaw, 1994, J. Exp. Fluids)
‘this area of research has quite a lot in common with studies of alleged paranormal phenomena, precognition, telepathy , ghosts, messages from the underworld, and so on” (McComb, 1990, the Physics of Fluid Turbulence).