‘Sonic Boom’ Of Light Captured For The First Time Ever

Scientists used a camera that can capture 100 BILLION frames per second in a single exposure to capture a “sonic boom” of light!

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NASA Armstrong Fact Sheet: Sonic Booms
“A sonic boom is the thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound or supersonic. Air reacts like a fluid to supersonic objects. As objects travel through the air, the air molecules are pushed aside with great force and this forms a shock wave much like a boat creates a bow wave. The bigger and heavier the aircraft, the more air it displaces.”

Ultrafast Camera Captures ‘Sonic Booms’ of Light for First Time
“Just as aircraft flying at supersonic speeds create cone-shaped sonic booms, pulses of light can leave behind cone-shaped wakes of light. Now, a superfast camera has captured the first-ever video of these events.”

Scientists Capture a “Sonic Boom” of Light
“Choi reports that optical engineer Jinyang Liang and his colleagues fired a green laser through a tunnel filled with smoke from dry ice. The interior of the tunnel was surrounded by plates made of silicone rubber and aluminum oxide powder. The idea was that, since light travels at different rates through different materials, the plates would slow down the laser light, which leave a cone-shaped wake of light.”


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Written By: Emily Calandrelli



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