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This simulation of the rolling shutter effect has two inspirations. One is the "Scanning for Time: Science and Art on a Photocopier" article by Eric Muller in the January 2019 edition of The Physics Teacher. The other is the Smarter Every Day video on the rolling shutter by Destin Sandlin.

The simulation above simulates one thing Eric Muller did in the article, which was place a spinning fidget spinner on a photocopier. Try hitting the Pause button - that freezes the fidget spinner at one instant, so you capture a snapshot of the fidget spinner at one time. Hit Play, and start the photocopier scanning - this is what the output of the photocopier looks like, because as the copier scans across from left to right, it captures different points on the fidget spinner at different times. The result is completely different from simply pausing the simulation, because the fidget spinner can do a few or even many complete cycles during the scanning process. This is the essence of the rolling shutter effect.

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 1-26-2019.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/classroom.html.

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