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_very_ High Speed Camera

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Mr Flibble, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. In 1964 MIT professor Harold Edgerton, pioneer of stop-action photography, famously took a photo of a bullet piercing an apple using exposures as short as a few nanoseconds. Inspired by his work, Ramesh Raskar and his team set out to create a camera that could capture not just a bullet (traveling at 850 meters per second) but light itself (nearly 300 million meters per second).

    Stop a moment to take that in: photographing light as it moves. For that, they built a camera and software that can visualize pictures as if they are recorded at 1 trillion frames per second. The same photon-imaging technology can also be used to create a camera that can peer "around" corners , by exploiting specific properties of the photons when they bounce off surfaces and objects.

  2. That is utterly astonishing!!
  3. as significant as this is, it is presented in a very misleading way,
    since this is any but a high-speed camera.

    what they are doing is reverse ray-tracing using computers and statistical analysis.

    they don’t mention the amount of time it takes to capture a single frame,
    i would guess deliberately, because takes away from the wow factor.

    notice that it only captures images of still life objects.

    they are so far away capturing an image of a moving object
    that it makes the projected uses sound completely fanciful.
    (cars looking around corners, seeing in to burning building, and endoscopes).

    another bit of spin i particularly liked was this quote,
    "in the future when this femto camera is in your camera phone".
    these days it seems like you have to allude to an iPhone app to get anyone’s attention.
  4. That was interesting. Cheers.
  5. There's a group of Israeli researchers working on a different method for seeing around corners and through frosted glass and fog which could certainly have real-time potential

    Also feel it's worth pointing out that Edgerton is not really the pioneer of stop-motion photography, he just bought it to the attention of the general public by using it to create artistic images. The real pioneering work, with significant scientific implications, was largely done by German scientists during WW2 working to improve the performance artillery and anti-tank shells. Still, Edgerton's pic of a nuclear bomb 1ms after detonation is certainly impressive.

    Carver's point on imaging time is certainly quite important. I remember sitting through a very similar presentation to this only on x-ray tomography (where the composition of an object is accurately mapped in 3-dimensions). The one thing they neglected to mention was how many days it took to produce the images they were showing (at least until I asked).

    And yes, I'm also sick of science always having to try and relate everything to the average person. Especially when, like this research, it is actually being funded by (and for) the military (it's being conducted by the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, which is a collaboration between MIT and the US Army Research Office).
  6. There is only a minute percentage of people who understand actual science principals at the levels of detail we're able to attain in this day and age. If you don't dumb it down you risk the public losing interest and that puts funding, future knowledge, etc at risk. The drive for understanding is strong in a lot of people. Without it you end up like my wife who is always repeating comments like:

    I just can't imagine living in a world where you aren't constantly interested learning the why and how's of everything around you.

    Personally, I studied Physics and Chemistry at uni about 20 years ago. Current research in those fields is nothing like what it was back then and there's no way that I could understand what we're doing in these fields in this day and age. But damned if I don't want to appreciate it and dumbing it down allows me to appreciate it.
  7. Why not relate science to the average person? I'd rather that than have the "average person" respond to anything vaguely useful with something like "That's gay nerdy science shit, fag!" and proceed to flush my head down a toilet for being interested in something they don't understand. Er, or your head I mean, because obviously I was one of the cool kids at school. Totally. You believe me, right?

    Yeah sure it's funded by the military now, but who knows what will happen in the future? Might as well make it "cool" now just in case.

    On another note: "average person"... SIGH.
  8. Ie, republicans.
  9. Public interest is not how research gets funding. Research funding is obtained by writing lengthy and technically detailed grant applications assessed by people with some degree of expertise in that area of research.

    What annoys me is the fact that anything to do with Science is regularly dumbed down or reported on by people with no knowledge in the area themselves. Things to do with politics, arts, economics, etc are however usually dealt with at a much higher level, and reported on by people with some expertise in the field. In fact most news programs tend to only see Science related stories as amusing novelty items, which just act as filler between the far more important news like what's happening on some reality TV program. :rolleyes:

    If someone actually understands the Science it should be possible for them to explain it to most people without the need for trying to make it about an iPhone. I've read some really great articles in fields totally unrelated to my own (so in effect I have no more knowledge about it than anyone else) - and yet I've found it quite easy to pick up on at least some of the more technical aspects they were describing. I'd rather this than some of the appalling explanations/descriptions of the Higgs Boson that the media were circulating recently, which only make it more difficult to understand. I believe this cartoon sums it up quite nicely:
  10. That's because it held your interest, since you're the kind of person who finds that sort of thing interesting, even if it's not in your particular field. This isn't in my particular field either, yet I still find it interesting for any number of reasons, without the need to talk about smartphones. That's beside the point. The "average person" finds iPhones interesting, although they probably couldn't tell you why beyond "facebook, angry birds, txt msg lol its gr8 hurr hurr derp."

    Actually, the "average person" is probably unaware that there's any kind of smartphone in existence apart from an iPhone, but that's a whole different can/kettle of worm-like fish.

    Sad but true.
  11. Exactly. I've never been able to understand the rules of AFL, but if I had an interest in the sport I'd probably take the time to try and understand them. Since I don't, I never expect the media to dumb down the commentary, or try and somehow relate it to particle physics.

    It became quite apparent just how bad the problem has gotten, when they started comparing the Higgs Boson to Justin Bieber.
  12. [​IMG]
  13. Yes, and those people assessing the grants usually source their funding through universities and corporations, who derive their funding to some extent from tax dollars (yes, even corporations rely on R&D rebates) and from government grants in some shape or another. What do you think drives the distribution of those funds? Governments also fund quite a lot. And if it's not tax dollars funding it, it's to seek a commercial solution, again, relying on non-science-types.

    There's dumbing down, which allows people who have a decent understanding of how the universe works can get their head around something slightly outside of their technical skillsets and there's, as mentioned above, dumbing down to the point of "ohhh, shiny doughnuts!/justin beiber!~". I understand the frustration of the later but the former is useful for a lot of people.

    Also, there are a LOT of people who want your average joe to understand, who strive to push knowledge into the hands of those that aren't fortunate enough to come in contact with that knowledge on a daily basis. This should be encouraged, it helps create thirst for understand and helps create future wants.

    /if none of that made sense, sorry. It's been a long workday and im exhausted
  14. If anyone mentions that Canadian twat's name again, I'll be asking for the thread to be locked :p
  15. Not the what the general public wants, that's for sure. Strangely preference also seems to be given to areas that have already had a large amount of funding and/or commercial success - with the more obscure or new fields being the ones who have to struggle the most. I can also say that money given to Universities for research certainly doesn't always get spent on research. A substantial amount is "skimmed" for "administration" purposes, often almost as much as what goes to the actual research (I've been on an academic research committee before).

    Agreed, and I'd like to think I'm one of them. But if people can't appreciate research for what it is there's no need to make fanciful claims about potential applications to popular products. It's not a new thing though, and in fact it is actually somewhat amusing to look back on some of the supposed applications of scientific discovery to mainstream life in the past (like atomic powered cars).

    It doesn't really create "wants" though. For example, the technology for an ipod existed long before the ipod did, but it was only after the product was released that everyone seemed to think they couldn't live their life without one. Same goes for the iPhone, or in fact mobile phones in general - it was the technology (and marketing) that created the demand. Not the other way around. The general public doesn't have a clue how public money is spent on research, if they did they'd be a lot more pissed off about how much gets wasted.
  16. ...it's a shame the general public don't have a lot of interest in science and it's importance. More money should be funneled to research and development, unfortunately private funding only happens when there is possible financial gain to be had...none of this "we fund for knowledge" attitude. Government funding has been cut to CSIRO so research projects are under fire to produce positive results ASAP...no results = no funding = no job.

    Anyways back to the OP, I still think this was amazing, regardless of what technique was used to capture/produce the image. It may be used for something other than what was proposed (to gain funding/acceptance/wow factor).
  17. Nobody said a word about Bryan Adams.