The Amazing Harold Edgerton (1903 -1990)

Harold Edgerton's story is one of humble Nebraskan beginnings that sparked a child's curiosity for taking things apart to see how they worked. So bloomed the genius that led him to become an MIT Professor who founded his Strobe Alley workshop which perfected stroboscopic photography. His amazing works include a lightbulb stopped in the process of shattering, the drop of milk frozen in midair splash, a bullet shown shooting it's way through a playing card, shredding it in half as it goes. One of the things Edgerton was asked to photograph was the night time detonation of an atomic bomb by the military. He managed to capture the process beautifully but also the strange beauty of destruction at the same time.

Edgerton built a special lens 10 feet long for his camera which was set up in a bunker 7 miles from the source of the blast which was triggered Nevada - the bomb placed atop a steel gantry anchored to the desert floor by guide wires. The exposures are at 1/100,000,000ths of a second.

In a millisecond the blast expands; lightning caused by the force of the energy travels down the guide wires The desert floor was turned to glass

In another millionth of a second, a planet of fire exists,
silhouetting and dwarfing the Joshua Trees
these books will go to and open in a new window

Stopping Time: the photos of Harold Edgerton


Exploring the Art & Science of Stopping Time:
Based on the Work

by Harold E. Edgerton
(Windows & Mac)

A remarkable virtual tour of Edgerton's MIT lab, "Strobe Alley" and it's archives, techniques, photos and files. Walk around, poke anywhere your heart desires, view hundreds of photos, research papers and movie clips of Stopped Time.

The Edgerton Center at MIT
back to Odd Pics
back to main