Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Next Time Someone Coughs On You...

Using a technique more commonly used to image the supersonic shock cones forming around test aircraft in wind tunnels, a group of scientists say they've captured the dynamics of a cough on film for the first time.

Schlieren photography involves shining collimated light past a knife edge onto a target, and variations in the refractive index of moving air create "shadows" of a sort in the image captured on film, and it's most often used to solve aeronautical air-flow problems, or weapons in action.

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