Public Lecture: "The Physics Of Cooking"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Reiss 112
David A. Weitz
Harvard University

Do you want to understand how (and why) food foams are made or why the elasticity of steak matters? Why do some chefs use liquid nitrogen (at about -320 degrees F) to freeze ingredients? Have you ever wondered about the secrets behind the wild creations at Chef Jose Andres’ world famous DC based Mini-Bar? Have you ever heard of Soft Condensed Matter Physics? Want to learn more is the science behind these pioneering approaches to taste and presentation?

On April 10, 2012 the Department of Physics is proud to announce a public lecture given by Professor David Weitz, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard University. “The Physics of Cooking” is the culmination of the recent collaboration between eminent Harvard researchers and world-class chefs.

This talk will present some examples of physics and science of cooking and will include demonstrations. The examples are based on an introductory science course offered at Harvard University by Weitz and a team of chefs, including Ferran Adria, and the Alícia Foundation, that explores a new way of motivating interest in science and teaching it to non-scientists. The theme of the course is the connections between cooking, soft matter physics, materials science and organic chemistry. The science of several innovative techniques in cooking, including foams and use of gelation, as well as more common processes, will be explored.

For more information about the Physics of Cooking at Harvard University, please visit the following link. More information about Professor David Weitz’sresearch group can be found here.

Host: Daniel Blair
Discussion Leader: Daniel Blair