MathLapse - Propeller Mystery


MathLapse - Propeller Mystery


Submitted by


Pavel Boytchev

Taking pictures of spacetime - what could go wrong?

Taking photographs of propellers in action has always been a source of genuine surprise. Just have a look at,, and The distortions of the propellers are caused by the rolling shutter effect of some digital cameras - i. e. they do not capture a picture at once, but line-by-line.

This short film demonstrates patterns generated at specific speeds of a propeller and a rolling shutter. Enjoy them!

But, what does it have to do with spacetime?

In Physics, spacetime is the concept of having space and time mingled into a single entity - the spacetime continuum. A traditional photo shows space captured at one, fixed moment in time. A rolling shutter picture, however, captures different fragments of space at different fragments of time and interweaves them into a single spacetime image.

Could you think of another photographic effect when capturing spacetime?

(hint: ɹnlq uoᴉʇoɯ)


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