In 2019, Tamara Lanier sued Harvard University claiming that she was the rightful owner of daguerreotypes of an enslaved father and daughter. A Massachusetts judge has dismissed her claim, ruling that it’s Harvard that should own the images after all.
Weird cameras are just the best, aren’t they? And they don’t get much weirder than this. Researchers at Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have published a paper detailing a tiny camera that sees the world the way a shrimp and some insects see it. That is, in polarised light.
Polarisation is essentially the directions in which light waves travel. And this polarisation camera shows us those directions in a rainbow of colours, with the visible light removed. The technology’s been around for a while, although not at this sort of small scale. It opens up a lot of new applications for using such cameras.
Four months ago, it was Stanford who made their photography course for free, and now comes Harvard’s turns. Harvard has an online learning platform – Alison – and their photography course has been uploaded in whole and accessible worldwide.
There are 12 modules with an extra module as a bonus, so you can follow on your own pace:
A team at Harvard University have build a lens that’s thinner than the waves of light it focuses. Based on light-warping metamaterials, this lens may one day replace the heavier glass lenses found in items like microscopes, smartphones, cameras and even telescopes.
Lens technology has come a very long way since those early days, but it’s still difficult to build very compact lenses. If you’ve ever wondered why your phone’s camera lens sticks slightly proud of the back, this is why.
This is pretty awesome. Scientists at Harvard Science Demonstrations put out a video earlier this year that let’s us see air moving with our naked eye. The team assembled some Schlieren optics (which we’ve talked about before) by reflecting a light source from a concave mirror onto a razor blade. The optics are setup in front of a camera to record as they demonstrate the process with a hair dryer, an air filled helium balloon, and a big glass full of sulfur hexafluoride gas. You can get a preview of the setup in the image above, but be sure to watch the video for the full effect, especially if you’re not familiar with Schlieren.