January 25 - April 3, 2005

Harold Edgerton (1903-1990), an MIT professor of electrical engineering and pioneering photographer, developed the electronic flash and stroboscopes for high-speed photography. His classic electronic flash still photographs, dating from the 1930s through the 1950s, explore the unseen world of objects in motion. These photographs, taken with microsecond exposures, reveal the wondrous beauty and scientific principles of such phenomena as birds in flight, a golf swing, the splash of a drop of milk, a bullet piercing a balloon, and an atomic blast. Co-curators George Greenstein (Sidney Dillon Professor, Department of Astronomy, Amherst College) and Robert Hallock (Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst), and Jill Meredith (Director and Chief Curator) have selected 35 color and black and white photographs by Edgerton from the permanent collection of the Mead Art Museum for this exhibition. Photographs, such as the memorable “Milk Drop Coronet” not only elucidate scientific phenomena ordinarily invisible to the human eye, but also reveal the power and poetry of everyday experiences.


Thursday, 24 February 2005, 4:30 p.m.
George Greenstein, Sidney Dillon Professor, Department of Astronomy, Amherst College and Robert Hallock, Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Reception to follow at the Mead Art Museum. Stirn Auditorium

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As a part of the exhibition, J. Kim Vandiver, dean for undergraduate research, director of The Edgerton Center at MIT and a former research assistant of Edgerton's, will offer two colloquium talks on the "schlieren" or shadow photographs they produced. The colloquium at the University of Massachusetts will be held Wednesday, March 9, at 4 p.m. in Hasbrouck 124, with refreshments at 3:45 p.m. in the lobby. The colloquium at Amherst College will be held on Thursday, March 10, at 4:45 p.m. in Merrill 3.