JUN 20, 2018 11:38 AM PDT

What is Schlieren Imaging

The photographic technique known as Schlieren photography gets its name from the German word "Schliere", meaning "streak". It was first developed to visualize the airflow around objects such as the wings of airplanes. 

How does Schlieren photography work? It produces well contrasted-pictures based on the difference in gas or liquid density. For example, when a gas is heated it expands, therefore, its density drops; as the temperature cools, it contracts and its density increases. When collimated (in parallel) light rays pass through fluidic materials with different densities, they refract and produce shadow-like area in the image.

In the classic setup, the parallel rays are focused onto a single point by literally using the edge of a knife. Many of the current optical schlieren methods replace knife-edge with a colored target, which produces schlieren shadows with a rainbow hue that adds extra features to visualization.

Source: Veritasium via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
You May Also Like
OCT 18, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 18, 2019
Mysterious Cosmic Radio Signal Pinpointed to its Source
Releasing the 80 years-worth entire solar energy in just a tiny fraction of a second, fast radio burst (FRB) is the one of most energetic and mysterious ph...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
LightSail-2 Spacecraft Demonstrates Viability of Solar Sails
The future of space travel looks bright, especially considering the fact that future deep-space probes could utilize passive solar sails to get to their de...
OCT 18, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 18, 2019
Chemists Synthesized Effective Antidote For Uranium Poisoning
Uranium poisoning is unusual to the general population but does happen to miners, mineral mill and fabrication workers. Through inhaling and ingestion, ura...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
ESA's Upcoming Euclid Space Telescope Could Teach Us About Dark Energy
The European Space Agency is currently developing a new visible to near-infrared space telescope dubbed Euclid, which is expected to tell us more about the...
OCT 18, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 18, 2019
How to Interpret Google's Quantum Supremacy Claim?
According to a report from Financial Times last week, Google scientists and their partners at Ames Research Center of NASA claimed that their team achieved...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
A More Practical Theory Regarding Tabby's Star
A distant star system called KIC 8462852, also commonly known as ‘Tabby’s Star,’ has a particularly interesting reputation for dimming sp...
Loading Comments...