Accelerated Light

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A model, or ‘machine study’, of the accelerating structures in the Australian Synchrotron Light Source, developed during my 2010 “Synapse” residency. The piece is essentially an accelerating video of a physical model,  with “harmonic” points where the speed of the rotation appears to becomes stable, or stationary, at other points, complex stroboscope-like forms and seemingly impossible motions emerge. Such effects are based upon events I witnessed at the Australian Synchrotron, where the individual electrons in the accelerator ring were literally moving forwards and backwards at the same time. In essence the work explores the relationship between the observer and observed, and how phenomena can be counter-intuitive in particle physics experiments. The title of the work is a play upon Einstein’s edict that light itself cannot accelerate – its velocity is constant, it is the ultimate speed limit of the universe, and everything else accelerates towards it.

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