Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Flicker and the "Persistence of Vision"

I named my blog "Flicker" because it is an old slang word for a movie. The term itself dates from the early silent era, when films were projected at a rate of 16 frames per second. This slow rate (today's sound projectors run at 24 frames/second) renders the human eye unable to perceive a continuous image. The illusion of a steady image and continuous brightness inside a movie theater is a phenomenon known as "persistence of vision", which allows the eye to interpret a rapid succession of light and dark as even illumination. When the frequency of light and dark is too slow to create a "persistence of vision", a flickering effect results--thus the slang "flickers" (or "flicks") was born.

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