High-speed photography is alive and well at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Edgerton Center.
Named after Harold “Doc” Edgerton—prominent MIT graduate, professor and pioneer of photography—the Center makes high-speed imaging equipment available to students to help further their education in science and engineering.
“Edgerton did his graduate work on motors—specifically, how motors behave when there’s a power spike,” explains Dr. Jim Bales, associate director of and instructor at the Edgerton Center. “To understand what was going on, he photographed the motors while tinkering with strobe lights. Then he started looking for other interesting things to take pictures of—like milk splashing or bullets piercing through apples.”
Edgerton eventually taught at MIT and remained an integral part of the faculty until 1990. After his death, his lab became the Center that stands today. In addition to offering various imaging courses and programs, the Center continues Edgerton’s legacy by providing MIT students with high-speed cameras, strobes and other equipment to assist with their research.
Among these resources is the Vision Research Phantom v2511 high-speed camera, which can record up to 25,000 frames per second (fps) at full resolution—making it a useful tool for MIT students looking to obtain high-resolution images at very high speeds.