Water Drop Images by Kyle Hounsell '13, MNG '14, Thery Mislick, Victoria Gunning '15, and Ed Moriarty '76
The images of water drops above show the surface formed by two small masses of water colliding. For each image, the first mass is the top of a Worthington jet — the jet of water that shoots into the air after a water drop falls into a pool. That rising jet has just been struck by a second water drop (the second mass), released several milliseconds after the first drop. Varying this delay changes the appearance of the collisional surfaces and how much of the jet is visible.
The images with a colored background were back lit by a filtered strobe (either a blue filter, or four color filters arranged in a square). The water's refractive properties caues each drop of water to act as a lens, creating an inverted image of the background in each drop, most noticable in the image with the four-color background.
The images with a black background were lit from the bottom by a strobe with a filter of a single color. The water directs light outwards in all directions, and the light that reaches the camera has undergone a 90-degree change from its original direction. More images by Kyle Hounsell can be found online.
From June 15th through June 18th the Edgerton Center and the MIT Professional Education Program will offer the “6.51s High-Speed Imaging for Motion Analysis" to be held at the Edgerton Center. The program is designed for scientists, engineers, and photographers who need to gather data on rapidly moving subjects and events for study, motion analysis, and trouble-shooting. Details can be found at http://shortprograms.mit.edu/imaging.