Physicist in the Kitchen


Gain added enjoyment in eating by learning about the physics of food. This café will cover many questions in the gastronomic universe, such as the difference between pizza baking in the traditional wood oven and in the electric one, (hint: it has to do with how heat propagates in media), the mechanism of heat transfer in microwave oven, why the tastes of boiled meat and grilled meat are so different, how to scientifically calculate the cooking time of a soft-boiled duck egg or spaghetti, how beer foam forms, why a cheers with crystal glasses filled by sparkling wine is not accompanied by that nice canorous sound, why vodka usually contains around 40% alcohol (ABV), how professional barmen vary the degree of coffee beans grounding depending on weather, and many more belly-satisfying tidbits.

Andrey Varlamov was born 25 April 1954 in Kiev, Ukraine. In 1977, he received his Master’s degree cum laude from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology. In 1980, under the supervision of Alex Abrikosov, he was awarded his PhD in Condensed Matter Physics. He then worked as a researcher (1981– 1985), associate professor (1986–1989), and full professor (1990–1999) in the Department of Theoretical Physics of the Moscow Institute for Steel and Alloys (Technological University). He went on to be an invited fellow at the Condensed Matter Theory Group of Argonne National Laboratory, USA (1993). Since 1999, he has been the principal investigator at the Institute of Superconductivity, Innovative Materials, and Devices of the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

Andrey was awarded the USSR State Prize in Physics for young scientists (1986), the degree of Doctor of Sciences (Habilitatus) in Condensed Matter Physics (1988), and the degree of Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa by the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics (2011); he is also a member-correspondent of the Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere (2009). His main fields of scientific interests are: superconductivity, theory of metals, theory of phase transitions, and nanophysics. The author of 8 books, 5 monographic review articles, and more than 130 scientific papers, Andrey is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ popular science magazine Kvant where executed the duties of vice-Editor-in-Chief of this magazine (1986– 1992).


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