When science and photography join forces, they usually end up with breathtaking results. Last week, physicists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland captured and shared a photo of quantum entanglement. It’s the first actual photo of this phenomenon ever taken, and it’s absolutely awe-inspiring.
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.
Computational imaging has given us some interesting and useful inventions so far, from fake bokeh to capturing the movement of light. This time, scientists have figured out how to take a clear image from as far as 28 miles (45km), regardless of the Earth’s curvature and the amount of smog in the air.
Making cameras see things that our eyes cannot is something that’s always really fascinated me about photography. Whether it’s super extreme macro, infrared & ultraviolet or, as is the case here, heat and shockwaves.
In this video, Kelly Hoffer at Theory of Curiosity talks us through Background-Oriented Schlieren (BOS). It’s a technique that lets you see heat and other atmospheric distortions in photographs. Here, Kelly shows it off using just a regular camera and Photoshop.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe’s goal is to help us answer some of the big questions we have about the Sun. In order to do that, it has to get very close to it. Inside its atmosphere, basically. More commonly known as the corona.
The probe has come closer to the sun than any human-made craft before it, and NASA has just shared this incredible photo of a coronal streamer. This is the first photo ever to have been shot inside the Sun’s corona.
Sometimes, you see something or get an idea and you just don’t rest until you get it. That’s what happened to Destin Sandlin at Smarter Every Day when he saw an old video of a vortex colliding perfectly with another. This may not sound that cool, but he saw something very unusual. Something he spent a long time researching and couldn’t find answers for.
He knew that the only way he could start to find answers was to recreate the experiment for himself. To produce two vortices that aligned and collided with each other perfectly. It’s taken him the last four years to finally make it happen, he filmed the whole thing in slow motion using a Phantom, and it’s a thing of beauty.
Here’s something you don’t see every day – a single isolated atom, captured in a photo. This is the photo that Science Photography Competition, organized by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
“Single Atom in an Ion Trap” is a photo by David Nadlinger from the University of Oxford. We bring you the winning image, along with some details. But also, take a look at a few other amazing photos from the contest.
There are still a few very unique and interesting things that can be done with film, but not with a digital camera. One of these experiments is the recording of sparks on film. Sparks are created when an electrical discharge moves either through or across the surface of the film. I first got interested in this project when I noticed static discharge patterns on x-ray film. Those patterns were due to the charge buildup on the plastic rollers in the auto development machines, but I wondered could I make better patterns in the lab?
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a revolutionary lens. It’s flat instead of curved, and it focuses the entire visible spectrum and white light in a single point. So far, this was only possible by stacking multiple lenses. But with this new invention, it’s possible to do it with a single lens. This discovery is interesting for us because it could revolutionize photography. If the commercial development starts, metalenses could make the gear far less bulky in the future.
Forced perspective is one of the most wonderfully creative tools photography affords. It allows us to create optical illusions that either baffle or simply amuse us. Or we can change the scale of items seamlessly with ease. We’ve seen it in popular movies and TV shows like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. We probably see it far more often than we realise.
But there’s often a lot of maths and science that goes into creating forced perspective, as you can see in the LoTR clip linked above. But it doesn’t always need to be as complex as one might think. This video from John Hess explains the mathematic and photographic principles that go into forced perspective and breaks it down into simple terms.