Tag Archives: Optics

Long-Exposure Bicycle Spokes

The Boon Companion has been experimenting with long exposure times and intentional camera movement, of late. She was just about to discard the motion-blurred cyclist above as a failed experiment when something about the image caught my eye. In the thirtieth-of-a-second exposure, the bicycle wheel has rolled a short distance. But why do the spokes … Continue reading Long-Exposure Bicycle Spokes

Why Do Mirrors Reverse Left And Right But Not Up And Down?

Reflection: A transformation under which each point in a shape appears at an equal distance on the opposite side of a given line—the line of reflection. It’s not often I have occasion to shout at the television, but a recent episode of the BBC’s long-running television series QI precipitated just such an outburst. The cause … Continue reading Why Do Mirrors Reverse Left And Right But Not Up And Down?

Stephen R. Wilk: How The Ray Gun Got Its Zap

I sometimes think that we should spend at least a little time explaining everyday manifestations of physics to undergraduates, so that they can talk about phenomena that appear in everyday lives. How The Ray Gun Got Its Zap (2013), is subtitled Odd Excursions Into Optics, which (combined with the manifesto above) pretty much covers what … Continue reading Stephen R. Wilk: How The Ray Gun Got Its Zap