A team from the MIT media lab has created a camera with a “shutter speed” of one trillion exposures per second — enabling it to record light itself traveling from one point to another. Using a heavily modified Streak Tube (which is normally used to intensify photons into electron streams), the team could snap a single image of a laser as it passed through a soda bottle. In order to create the slow-motion film in the video we’ve got after the break, the team had to replicate the experiment hundreds of times. The stop-motion footage shows how light bounces through the bottle, collecting inside the opaque cap before dispersing. The revolutionary snapper may have a fast shutter but the long time it takes to process the images have earned it the nickname of the “the world’s slowest fastest camera.” (via engadget.com)
One of Michael Hansmeyer’s cardboard column is in an exhibit right next door to my house at Smallspace Gallery, Berlin. He is a computational architect who examines the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms. This project, Subdivided Columns – A New Order is a 9-foot column that weighs nearly 2,000 pounds generated by iterating a subdivision algorithm and then utilizing a laser to delicately slice each segment of cardboard. Michael Hansmeyer uses algorithms invented by Pixar.
A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core.
The calculation of the cutting path for each sheet takes place in several steps. First, the six million faces of the 3D model are intersected with a plane representing the sheet. This step generates a series of individual line segments that are tested for self-intersection and subsequently combined to form polygons. Next, a polygon-in-polygon test deletes interior polygons. A series of filters then ensures that convex polygons with peninsulas maintain a mininimum isthmus width. In a final step, an interior offset is calculated with the aim of hollowing out the slice to reduce weight.
See more images at artist website
At least a solution for riding at night and short winter days. Enter LightLane, a safety concept from the clever designers at Altitude, Inc. The system projects a virtual bike lane (using lasers!) on the ground around the cyclists, providing drivers with a recognizable boundary they can easily avoid. While ridership is increasing every year, bicycle safety remains a huge issue: in 2007, 43,000 people were injured in bike accidents, resulting in 698 deaths. (via GOOD)