Tag Archives: Photonic Boom

Scientists have filmed a ‘sonic boom’ of light for the first time

by Mike McRae, Science Alert

Whoa

For the first time, researchers have filmed light creating a ‘sonic boom’ – officially known as a photonic Mach cone – using a new type of ultra-speed camera that can capture an incredible trillion frames per second in just one take.

A Mach cone is created when something travels faster than the waves it’s emitting – this often happens when a plane is travelling faster than the speed of sound, producing an ultra-loud boom. But not many people know light can do the same.

So how exactly do you create a ‘photonic boom’? At first thought, it seems ludicrous that light could also have a Mach cone. After all, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum – about 300,000 kilometres per second. Continue reading Scientists have filmed a ‘sonic boom’ of light for the first time