"The light is moving a million times faster than a bullet.”
Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy aka the “Slow Mo guys,” have filmed all sorts of things in, you guessed it, slow motion—everything from popcorn makers to giant water balloons to even tattoo guns. Each of their videos feels a bit like “Mythbusters.” Just a couple of guys making science super fun.One of the Slow Mo Guys’ most popular videos, with a total of 41 million views on Youtube to date, features the fastest thing known to man: light.
Since light travels at an unfathomable 186,000 miles per second, Free and Gruchy had to reach out to CalTech for a camera that could capture “10 trillion frames per second,” which they said was “20 million times faster than the fastest we've ever filmed on this channel."
The team first shoots a beam of light through a bottle of milk water. Even though to the naked eye, it looks as though the bottle instantly lit up, the later footage reveals the light (a sort of blue ghost-like thing in the playback) travels from one side of the bottle to the other.
“Every frame seems to be ten picoseconds,” Free says. “And we're just sort of casually watching this go left to right through the bottle, but in reality the light is moving a million times faster than a bullet.”
Watch the full video below, which includes a few other fascinating slow motion experiments with light.