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High speed camera can see photons moving

Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/14/2011 12:11:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You ever get those moments when your mind is so blown, that you almost can't think for a moment?

And then, some logical inconsistency slowly emerges to the surface, giving you the chilling realization that you have no comprehension of what you're experiencing?

Yeah, that's what I experienced with this.

Here's my issue. Perhaps someone can help me with this?

Until just this moment, I was under the understanding that it was impossible to ever isolate a photon and look at one. That's because everything we see is literally the detection of photons once they enter our eyeballs.

In that regard, we only see light in one direction. However, to accomodate for all other directions of movement in this direction, we detect photons in frames. Therefore, we interpret photons from one moment to the other, which gives the impression of movement, like cartoons. However, the movement is actually occurring, as it's within a real plane (rather than a piece of paper).

Point is, in order to see something, photons either need to reflect or emanate from it and come to you.

So, to see a photon, at least one photon (although one would be undetectable???) would need to fly from the photon (doesn't make sense) and hit you directly in the eye.

That leads to my next point -- once photons from an object in motion reach you, that object is no longer in the position in which you detect it. However, light moves considerably faster than anything we interact with, so this isn't really an issue. However, when we reach near-light to light speeds, that becomes a huge problem, which is why physicists consider time at the quantum and cosmic level less meaningful -- just another direction in movement.

So, how in the hell could we possibly see photons?!

Perhaps... perhaps it depends on how close it is to the eye... that it doesn't need to actually HIT the retina to be detected, but only come close.

In that regard, then I suppose photographic material (such as one used in this device) could record a photon without actually touching it.

How would that happen, though? With no interaction whatsoever, it alters matter? Why? It can't be an electromagnetic field, as those are comprised of photons.

Amg, I'm really confused.

When photons hit an object, they embed into surface atoms and become circulons. Those circulons remain embedded in the atoms ad infinitum unless struck by another photon or an electron. In such an event, the circulon immediately converts into a photon and shoots from the atom. This is reflection.

"Seeing" a photon really isn't making any sense to me right now at all.

And, what was that in the image they showed? It was on some tinkerbell shtt in a plastic bottle, illuminating the bottle and the objects around it. What was causing that illumination? Fairy dust? Wtf. Those aren't photons? Why can't we see them? Why was it travelling like some sort of illuminated bullet, and not like a wave? Was it because we were detecting the direction in which it was moving? But, that was only the machine, not they -- they had no idea? Or, did they already figure it out due to the mirror apparatus?

Amfg, this is trippin me out.

I really hope someone who knows something about physics signs in today. That would be a lot more fun than using all of my recreational time today trying to figure this out on my own. :P
Floid
Posts: 751
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12/14/2011 1:50:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It is a classic case of a imprecise language and a slight misrepresentation of what is really going on. The key clues to understand what is going on is the statements a "virtual slow motion camera" and "because all of our pulses look the same we can combine the images". Most important to note is the video of the "proton" moving through the bottle, it disappears once it reaches the end of the bottle.

Here is what they are doing: sending a pulse of light (a packet of a bunch of protons) to the bottle. The bottle scatters the protons so that some of them travel to the cameras (this is what gets recorded). They make a bunch of recordings of this and then when put together you can watch the light travel through the bottle.

But you aren't watching a single proton. And if you removed the bottle and had no source of scattering the light you wouldn't see anything. What you can do is watch the packet of protons travelling through the bottle at the speed of light, which is cool. But not quite as astounding as what they claim.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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12/22/2011 1:03:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/22/2011 12:56:48 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
The first application will be to better enforce speeding and traffic light laws, of course.

If we catch light going faster than c, then I think we are perfectly justified to give God a ticket for fvcking with us.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"