Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Shower Thought: Time Vs. Box Fan

Every day I do some of my best— and oddest— thinking while I'm in the shower. Here's just one example of a Shower Thought:

If I had the ability to stop time and then stared at a running box fan, what would it look like?

Would the blades look perfectly stationary, like they do when the fan's turned off?

Or would they look like a motion-blurred circle, the way they do when time's moving normally?

I definitely think you could make a case for both sides. On the one hand I could see the blades looking still, since time's been frozen. On the other hand, moving objects could very well leave a blur when time's stopped, just like they do on film.

Think about it a camera captures a very slim slice of time. In effect it actually stops time, if only for a brief fraction of a second. And how would a moving fan blade look in a photograph? It'd be blurred, right? So I definitely think there's a possibility that a time-frozen fan blade would look blurry.

I think the only way we're ever going to answer this question is to build some sort of machine that stops time, and then point it at a box fan and see what happens. Somebody out there get on that right away, wouldja?

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