Tesla coil electrical arcs at 1,750,000 frames per second look absolutely insane
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of The Slow Mo Guys here at DIYP. But when they team up with one of our other favourite YouTubers, like Mehdi Sadaghdar – otherwise known as ElectroBOOM – you just know it’s going to get crazy. After the boys saw one of Mehdi’s videos they knew they just had to collaborate with him on something extra special involving electricity and… Well, they’re The Slow Mo Guys, so they made it happen.
Mehdi travelled all the way from Vancouver, Canada down to Texas, with a lot of dodgy-looking electronics in his carry-on luggage to film with the guys. Not surprisingly, Mehdi got a few shocks along the way – and they all looked like genuine accidents this time – but you’ll all be pleased to know that Dan did, too!
As usual, Gav and Dan were filming with the Phantom TMX 7510, which has a maximum frame rate of 1.75 million frames per second. Of course, at such high speeds, it has an extremely low resolution of either 1280 x 32 pixels in standard mode or a slightly less wide, 640 x 64 in binned mode. It taught both Mehdi and the Slow Mo Guys a few things about how lightning works and the maximum frame rate of the camera actually allowed them to see the frequency of the air.
It’s also a little educational, with Mehdi explaining in many hilarious ways why certain things give an electrical shock while others don’t. Naturally, Dan was the recipient of most of the shocks, which were also filmed super in slow motion. For those who want to hear a little more about the electrical side of things, Mehdi also posted a video to his channel.
Despite the ridiculous frame rate of the camera, all three of them came to the conclusion that they needed something that could shoot at least 10 million frames per second to really see what was going on in some experiments. So, here’s hoping that when those cameras become available to them, we’ll see another collaboration in the future. After all, who doesn’t like seeing Dan suffer for Gav’s art?
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.