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YouTube / Brusspup
YouTube / Brusspup

Visual Trickery: Loopy Water, Unmoving Hose

YouTube / Brusspup
YouTube / Brusspup

This is nuts. In the two-minute video below, YouTube user Brusspup shows us how a carefully tuned speaker, a tube spitting water, and a camera can create an impressive optical illusion -- the illusion that water flows out of a seemingly unmoving tube in 3D spiral shapes.

So how does this work? It's actually pretty simple to set up: the speaker plays a 24 Hz tone (a very low note), which means 24 cycles of the speaker cone per second. A hose carrying water is attached to the front of the speaker, so it moves in time with the tone (thus, it is waving back and forth 24 times a second). This movement causes the hose to spray water back and forth. Finally, a camera running at 24 fps (frames per second) is pointed at the hose's output. The result is what you see below -- when we synchronize the camera's snapshots of reality and the speaker's movement, we see what looks like an unmoving hose -- the camera happens to snap a frame at moments when the tube is in the same place, so its wild movement is hidden. (Then Brusspup shows us the effects of tuning the speaker at slightly different frequencies -- trippy stuff, and you can now see the tube moving.)

What we're really seeing is a series of snapshots of water that happens to look really neat; the naked eye doesn't see this effect because the eye isn't a video camera (it is not limited to a "24 frames per second" view of the world). This effect is related to the reason that car wheels sometimes "go in reverse" when seen on TV or film: because the frame rate of any camera is limited, the motion of an object being filmed can interact with the camera in interesting ways.

With all that mumbo-jumbo out of the way, just look at this:

If you like that, you'll probably dig Strobe Lights & Water Drops, including a "Time Foundation" -- a technique using a strobe light to make water drops appear to "freeze" in mid-air.

(Via Colossal.)

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David Nadlinger
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science
This Photo of a Single Atom Won a Science Photography Top Prize
David Nadlinger
David Nadlinger

While you've been busy finding just the right Instagram filter for your cat, a University of Oxford graduate student has been occupied with visualizing a single atom and capturing it in a still frame. And the remarkable feat recently earned an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council photography award. Why? It was taken with a conventional camera, and the atom can be seen with the naked eye.

Take a look:

A close-up of a single atom in an ion trap
David Nadlinger

That tiny dot in between the two parallel metal electrodes is a strontium atom suspended by electric fields in an ion trap. It’s visible because the photographer, Ph.D. candidate David Nadlinger, projected blue violet light into a vacuum chamber. The atom absorbed and reflected the light, allowing Nadlinger to snap a photo in the split instant the atom was viewable. The space between the two points is just 0.08 of an inch.

Nadlinger dubbed the image "Single Atom in an Ion Trap" and took the Council’s top award. In a statement, he expressed enthusiasm that other people are now able to see what his work in quantum computing looks like.

[h/t Newsweek]

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iStock
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Animals
London Photographer Captures the Dogs of the World in Their Own Habitats
iStock
iStock

When snapping pictures, some travel photographers prefer to focus on people walking the streets. Highlighting the local residents can help ground a place in reality, but humans aren’t the only subjects worth capturing. For his project "Dogs, Dogs, Dogs", London-based photographer Alan Schaller documents the canines that he finds in all corners of the globe.

According to My Modern Met, Schaller started out photographing people he met on his travels. The high-contrast, black-and-white look of his work has earned him widespread recognition. For his latest project, he has chosen to showcase dogs in the same style.

Schaller described dogs to My Modern Met as “consistently friendly, unpredictable, and amusing” compared to humans. When he sees a dog he wants to photograph, he will first ask the owner's permission, then bend down to the pet’s level to gain its trust. He has photographed dogs in Norway, England, India, Thailand, Turkey, and plenty of places in between, and the personalities of the dogs he captures are just as diverse as their homes. You can check out his photography below and follow Schaller on Instagram to see more of his work.

[h/t My Modern Met]

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