Behind the Cover- November 2021- Times Of Nation
Each month, Physics Today editors explore the research and design choices that inspired the latest cover of the magazine.
Physics Today’s penultimate issue of the year includes a feature article by Nick Pizzo, Luc Deike, and Alex Ayet entitled ‘How does the wind generate waves?’
The prospect of putting a rough, roiling sea on the cover was immediately enticing. But Physics Today’s graphic designer, Freddie Pagani, faced a problem when she set to work on it- Most seascapes—whether photographed, painted, or sketched—have a landscape aspect ratio rather than the portrait aspect ratio of a magazine cover.
Pagani eventually found a suitably vertical image on iStock, a stock photography provider in Calgary, Alberta. The photographer, Anna Omelchenko, told Physics Today she took the photo in 2010 in Lebanon, where she lives.
Although preparing the image for the cover was straightforward, deciding on how to treat the main cover line was not. Initially Pagani favored splitting the line into two parts, ‘How wind’ and ‘makes waves,’ and rendering them in different typefaces.
When Physics Today’s managing editor, Richard Fitzgerald, saw the provisional cover, he suggested making the split after ‘makes’ instead, as shown here, to highlight ‘waves.’ Editor-in-chief Charles Day then suggested running the cover line in white (instead of dark blue as it is in the image) to make it stand out from the dark blue Physics Today logo. Those two tweaks made it into the final version.
The roughness of the sea in Omelchenko’s photograph reflects the difficulty of understanding how wind transfers its momentum to make waves. As Pizzo, Deike, and Ayet point out in their article, the interface between air and water where waves are born is not only turbulent, but turbulent over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales.
You can see more of Omelchenko’s photos at her Instagram page and her website.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a physicstoday.scitation.org feed.)
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