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PROFESSOR GARY SETTLES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROFESSOR GARY SETTLES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Schlieren imaging footage of a woman coughing, first without and then with a face mask. Schlieren imaging visualises density changes in air, allowing the distance travelled by her cough to be seen. Without the mask the air travels comfortably beyond the right edge of the frame. With the mask on, only a few centimetres of air is disturbed. Face masks have come into prominence during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019-2020. The virus that causes the disease is spread in water droplets exhaled or coughed out by infected people. Preventing the wide dispersal of the droplets can help to reduce the spread of the disease.
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