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Stoboscopic effect and why

  1. Oct 13, 2009 #1
    Stoboscopic effect and why!!!!!!!!!!!!

    if the frequency of the strobe is higher than the frequency of the water ripples then the ripples will appear to move slowly backwards.

    can some one expain with formula's or with some technical trems why this happens?

    i know if the strobe has higher frequency than the ripples will look as if they are moving backward because of the difference in f, but i need a more convincing explanation
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2009 #2


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    Re: Stoboscopic effect and why!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome to pf
    It's an optical (really a visual) illusion.
    Remember you can't identify individual ripples uniquely - they all look the same.

    Suppose the ripples move forward 5cm in one strobe interval
    If you set the strobe 20% faster then they will only have had time to move forward 4cm.
    When you look at them the nearest ripple to where you eye remembered the last position is now 1cm behind it - so you brain thinks the ripple moved back 1cm.

    It's the same effect used for moving christmass tree or highway diversion lights.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  4. Oct 13, 2009 #3
    Re: Stoboscopic effect and why!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thanks for the clarification, gret help
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