The SPS Observer

The magazine of the Society of Physics Students

Spring 2023 Observer cover

Spring 2023

About the cover

Sisyphus: Momentum of the Photon is an acrylic painting by Valeria Viteri-Pflucker, a PhD student in optics at the University of Roch- ester. The work depicts Sisyphus, a famous figure from Greek my- thology, pushing a crystal ball up a mountain. Sisyphus is a mac- roscale representation of the force exerted by light as it is used in optical traps. The goal of the work is to make viewers think about how the momentum of the photon, though small, lets scientists ex- plore the microworld, investigat- ing the details of error correction during DNA transcription or of the behaviors of molecular motors. Sisyphus: Momentum of the Pho- ton won Best in Show in the Phys- ics Phine Art Contest at the 2022 Physics Congress.

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