Watch What Happens When Methane is Ignited With Lasers

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Setting fire to things isn’t in and of itself science. But if you record it using special photography at 10,000 frames per second then it’s getting closer. This video shows just that.

The clip, created by Victor Miller and his team from Stanford University and first shown on the New York Times site, shows what happens in the first moments after a bubble of methane gas is ignited with an intense burst of laser. What you’re actually looking at, thanks to the fancy snapping technique, known as 'schlieren' photography, is the changing density of the expanding flame as it stretches out to fill and consume its surroundings.

If you want to known more about the schlieren technique, watch this neat video explainer. You can watch the full clip made by Miller below.

[NYT via Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynaimcs]

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