Filming Atomic Blasts Requires This Massive, Complicated Camera

There's a truly monstrous camera at the "Churchill's Scientists" exhibition at London's Science Museum right now. The C4 Rotating Mirror High Speed Camera was developed at the end of World War II to study explosive reactions. » 3/03/15 7:45pm 3/03/15 7:45pm

First Ever Image to Show Light as a Wave and Particle at the Same Time

What you're looking at here is a major breakthrough. The image reveals a property of light that has never been witnessed before by human eyes, though we've long known about it. But at last, thanks in an ingenious imaging experiment, we can now see how light behaves as a wave and a particle at the same time. » 3/02/15 8:00pm 3/02/15 8:00pm

How We Can Use Light to See Inside the Human Body

Human flesh is opaque. As any good dictionary will tell you, that means it has the quality of "not transmitting light; being impenetrable to sight." Well, forget that: scientists now can use light to see inside objects that were traditionally off-limits to the human eye—including our bodies. » 2/20/15 7:00am 2/20/15 7:00am

How Nanoscale Optics Create Nature's Most Dazzling Colors

What do a butterfly's shimmering wings, a fish's opalescent scales, and a peacock's brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colors are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand. » 2/19/15 2:00pm 2/19/15 2:00pm

Here Are Three Variations On A Classic Puzzle – Can You Solve Them All?

I've always enjoyed water-distribution puzzles. They are simple in structure and usually straightforwardly posed, but their plain presentation belies their challenging nature. Here are three classic variations on the theme to wrap your head around. » 1/11/15 4:45pm 1/11/15 4:45pm

This Giant Rainbow Was Made With Tech That's Used To Study Exoplanets

It's not very often that the fields of advanced photonics and installation art meet. But in Amsterdam this week, visitors to the city's Central Station are getting a look at what happens when liquid crystal optic technology is used to something completely unscientific: Make public art. » 12/16/14 9:00am 12/16/14 9:00am

Why Objects In the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

The passenger-side mirror of every modern car in America bears the same warning: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." Ever wondered why? It's no design fault; it's actually a safety feature. » 12/09/14 12:00pm 12/09/14 12:00pm

One Surprising Reason Computer Screens Aren't Green-On-Black Anymore

In the early days of personal computing—think UNIX early—text was often white or green on a black screen. That didn't last long, of course, but there's a little-known reason that those shadowy screens weren't ideal for users. And it has to do with your poor eyesight. » 10/06/14 4:48pm 10/06/14 4:48pm

This Rube Goldberg machine is powered by light

It's always fun to see the chain reaction of Rube Goldberg machines and how one action can cascade into a whole bunch of things happening. This one, from an ad for Japanese technology company au, is particularly cool because it's just powered by light and lens and optics. » 9/11/14 1:01am 9/11/14 1:01am

This Bizarre Looking Device Lets You Draw How Your Eyes Actually See

If walk through the square in front of the Flatiron Building this week, you'll see an odd sight: Someone with their head strapped into what looks like some sort of medieval brain control device. It's actually just Trevor or Ryan Oakes, artists (and twins) who invented a drawing tool that applies simple mathematics to… » 5/28/14 4:00pm 5/28/14 4:00pm

Galileo Was Even Smarter Than We Thought

Galileo is perhaps best known as the guy who proved Copernicus right about the sun sitting in the center of our solar system. But this proof would have been impossible without the improvements Galileo made to the telescope, which allowed him to see into the world beyond our planet like never before. And it turns out… » 8/05/13 6:34pm 8/05/13 6:34pm

Superhero Tourists Will Love Sony's Awesome Combination Binoculars and…

You're looking at the Sony DEV-50V, an overhauled version of the pricey multi-gadget Sony announced at IFA a few years ago. Meet the new and improved Swiss Army goggles. They're part 25x zoom digital binoculars, part sophisticated 3D camcorder, and all kinds of crazy expensive. » 4/24/13 12:00am 4/24/13 12:00am

3D-Printed Optics Could Light Up the Gadgets of the Future

3D-printing is awesome, but it has its limits. For the time being, we mostly get static plastic figures, and while resolution is getting better all the time, we're far from a real replicator future. A new development is bringing us one step closer, however: printable optics. » 10/06/12 4:00pm 10/06/12 4:00pm

These Stabilized Binoculars Compensate for 98 Percent of Your Shakes…

Adapting its military-grade gear for the consumer market, Fraser-Volpe's STEDI-EYE Mariner binoculars promise to remove up to 98 percent of unwanted motion from shaky hands, or vibrations from a moving vehicle. It's weatherproof and packs night vision too, making it an uber-expensive accessory for serious bird… » 10/02/12 12:40pm 10/02/12 12:40pm

This Tiny Telescope Implant Gives Eyesight to the Blind

Getting old isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sure, you get a hefty discount at the Country Kitchen Buffet. But you also suffer from stuff like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a retinal disease that afflicts more than 10 million people a year in the US alone. There's hope for the eyes of America's elderly,… » 9/24/12 11:30am 9/24/12 11:30am

15 Ophthalmological Marvels That Make Your Eyesight as Clear as Your…

They may look as ridiculous as they sound but Phoropters are essential eye-doctoring devices. These overgrown binoculars have helped optometrists measure an individual's refractive error, more commonly known as your eyeglass prescription, since the 19th Century. Our friends at Oobject have collected the very best… » 9/21/12 1:40pm 9/21/12 1:40pm

This Weed-Killing Robot Dispatches Dandelions with 98 Percent Accuracy

A prototype weed-seeking automaton could change the way seven billion humans eat, as well as help to end industrial agriculture's reliance on toxic herbicides and itinerant labor. » 9/13/12 11:30am 9/13/12 11:30am

Tupac Hologram Wasn't a Hologram

Oh Pac, you've duped us once again. It turns out that disquieting hologram burning its way across Coachella and the entire internet wasn't an actual hologram at all: just a reflection using a 19th century magician's tricks. » 4/17/12 9:43am 4/17/12 9:43am

The Last Pair of Binoculars You'll Ever Buy

Binoculars are rad. You can look into a lion's gullet without getting your face torn off. Problem is, the places and situations in which you wanna use them are where you're most likely to break them. These fix that. » 8/02/11 10:45am 8/02/11 10:45am