Cohesive_Failure_Debenedetti_Lyrebyrd_Klezmatics.jpg The rumors are true: last weekend the School of Engineering’s vice dean Pablo Debenedetti was seen doing performance art in the West Village as part of the Cornelia Street Cafe’s "Entertaining Science" series. Debenedetti, a leading expert in fluid thermodynamics, explored "familiar and strange water, in all its life-enhancing properties — chemical, physical, sociological and musical — with the musicians Katie Down and Matt Darriau."

Down is known for clowning around in the ukulele band Ukuladies. Darriau is known for his work with Paradox Trio and the Klezmatics, the only Klezmer band to have won a Grammy Award. As for Debenedetti? He is known for his work as a theorist in condensed matter physics and engineering. Earlier this year he published research suggesting a novel way to control the behavior of water.

The Entertaining Science series is the brainchild of Roald Hoffmann, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist at Cornell who orchestrates delightful collisions of art and science. That is Debenedetti (in the image above) hovering over the musical duo; the background image is taken from a computational investigation of the fracture mechanisms of thin films of glassy water (non-crystalline solid water) upon cooling. Technical folks who want to know more can explore here.