High speed photography is used for a number of things in today’s world. This kind of photography can be used for films or for scientists to measure a variety of scientific experiments. The more frames that are captured per second, the more the video can be slowed down. Phantom Flex cameras and other high speed cameras can give scientists and others a way to view processes and interactions that happen too fast for the human eye to see.
We have learned a lot from high speed cameras. Here are just a few of them:
- High speed cameras showed us how horses gallop. In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge wanted to check something out. He wanted to know if, during a full gallop, if horses ever had all of their feet off the ground at the same time. He used a high speed camera to film horses galloping. As it turns out, the high speed camera caught the fact that at one point, during the gallop, all four feet are off the ground. This happens when they are all contracted inwards. This disproved the idea that their feet leave the ground together when the legs are outstretched.
- Use of high speed cameras showed us how cats can land on their feet. We all know that when a cat falls from any decent height, they will land on their feet. This is just one of the things that people do not understand about our feline friends. Etienne-Jules Marey wanted to figure this mystery out. He developed a camera that could capture 12 frames per second. He was a physiologist and took his video of cats falling, considered to be the world’f first cat video and compared it to skeletons of cats. The idea was that cats have a physiological mechanism that makes them twist into the right position to land on their feet. This idea was not really considered to be fact until 1916.
- We learned how different creatures fly. Birds, bugs and bats can all fly but how do they do it? Marey was also interested in this. He developed technology that allowed him to measure the elliptical movement of the wings of these flying creatures. He worked and worked on the technology, Marey sought to learn how these creatures stayed airborne and wanted to apply what he learned to helping people develop tools to fly themselves. He published “The Flight of Birds,” in 1890. In this, he published his recorded data on the flight of birds. This book was credited by the Wright Brothers as being helpful in their work on the first planes, which took off just a few months after Marey had died.
- Images from high speed cameras taught us how bubbles burst. Lucien Bull worked with Marey and ran his institute after Marey died. Bull took Marey’s work in a different direction. He developed a new high speed camera and filmed a pellet being shot into a soap bubble. In 1904, took what were virtually invisible interactions possible to see. The images of the pellet piercing the bubble provided a lot of data that helped advance the field of fluid mechanics.
- A high speed camera showed us the inside of a nuclear explosion. Harold Edgerton was an expert at taking photos of the first few moments of a nuclear explosion. He worked with Kenneth Germeshausen and Herbert Grier to develop a camera to get images from the beginning of the nuclear explosion. This ultrahigh-speed camera could capture images whose exposure time ranged from about four to ten millionths of a second. These images gave scientists more data than they had before and would never have been possible without the use of high speed camera technology.
- We got our first glimpse of Earth from space. On October 24, 1946, a rocked was sent into space. A high speed camera captured images of the planet from 65 miles up.
The first uses of high speed cameras to loot at horses or cats may seem goofy but they lead to learning how birds fly which led to human flight. Each invention was possible because of the research that went into earlier versions. High speed cameras have been part of many tech breakthroughs that we take for granted.