Edgerton, Harold E(ugene)


Edgerton, Harold E(ugene)

biographical name

(born April 6, 1903, Fremont, Neb., U.S.—died Jan. 4, 1990, Cambridge, Mass.) U.S. electrical engineer and photographer. He was a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology when in 1926 he developed a flash tube that could produce high-intensity bursts of light in as little as 1/1,000,000 of a second; it is the flash device still used in photography today. Since it can also emit repeated bursts of light at regular brief intervals, it is an ideal stroboscope. With the new flash Edgerton was able to photograph such things as drops of milk falling into a saucer and bullets traveling at speeds of 15,000 mph (24,000 kph); the resulting images have been appreciated for their artistic beauty and their value to industry and science.

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