Professor Harold Edgerton was known for his beautiful strobe photographs that captured events too fast for the human eye, from the splash of a drop of milk hitting a plate to a bullet piercing an apple. He was a teacher and mentor to generations of students. One of those students, Prof J. Kim Vandiver, went on to become the Center's founding director. As Doc Edgerton's TA, he put together a system that allowed him to take high-speed color schlieren photos, allowing us to see the unseen, such as the column of hot air rising from a candle, or the sonic boom of a bullet traveling at Mach 2.
Our image gallery presents selected images from Edgerton's collection, images captured over the years with our color schlieren system, and recent high-speed images captured by students and staff.
Additionally, we have high-speed video cameras and short-duration strobes capable of capturing events down to microsecond timescales. We can help any MIT student, instructor, or researcher select the right tool for their imaging need, train them in its use, and loan them the equipment so that they can capture the images they need.