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In this youtube video, a group of MIT scientists provide a (computer-corrected, but still) ultra-high-frame-rate video recording of the light beam traveling through an object (a plastic bottle).

The possibility of making such an experiment makes me wonder if it is possible to capture some of the effects of special relativity using high-speed photography?

Let me elaborate on what I have in mind a bit. Choose a medium with the desired refractive index to make "objects" (essentially consisting of shaped light beams) traveling with near-$c$ velocities. Then, unless I'm missing something, using high-speed photography, effects such as relativity of simultaneity and Lorentz contraction can, in principle, be observed directly.

I would like to know if there's been development in this area lately (I presume the videos haven't been made yet, because I wasn't able to google them).

I realize that predictions of SR have been verified experimentally with extremely high precision already. This question isn't about experimental verification of SR, it is about being able to actually "see for yourself" that it is true. The mentioned video could be used in classrooms etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm a bit confused - how's the medium having a different refractive index going to help you see relativistic effects? In any case, not quite what you're looking for since it's a simulation and not an actual recording, but there's things like MIT's OpenRelativity or a project by the uni Tübingen where you can ride a "relativistic bike" through the city. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jan 7 '18 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind oh I just thought having a medium would help with modeling objects moving with close to, but not just $c$ (light beams in the medium), which are necessary to demonstrate effects of SR. Thanks, but I was aware of the existence of "OpenRelativity", and it is not related to my question. Ideally, I would want to have a video recording of a real experiment which I could show to my friends as direct evidence for Relativity (and I imagine it could be generally useful in educational purposes). I am not interested in simulations. $\endgroup$ – Prof. Legolasov Jan 7 '18 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ "... unless I'm missing something, ..." - That video (series of still photos) was created by taking (almost) full speed light and taking a series of still photos of different pulses each occurring a moment later than the one prior, combined into a video that creates the illusion of a single pulse of light traveling slowly - because it's a different frame (by either definition) there's no connection between the observed objects, they are different photons. Now if you meant slow light, in a BEC ... See: youtu.be/57s60mlapCc $\endgroup$ – Rob Jul 26 '18 at 9:31

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