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See Inside A Matter of Time

Stopping Time

Using a stroboscope to generate extremely brief bursts of light, Massachusetts Institute of Technology electrical engineering professor Harold Edgerton photographed this splash made by a drop of milk in 1957. Edgerton's stop-action pictures, created as scientific experiments, made it possible to observe movements and interactions too fast to be seen by the human eye. By studying the milk-drop images, Edgerton learned, for example, that the shape of the coronet was determined by the size of the drop, the height from which it fell, and the thickness of the film of milk on the surface from a previous drop.

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