There Is No Cat

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Friday, August 23, 2002

Science as art

A post on Curious Frog reminded me that some of my favorite photographs ever are those made by Harold "Doc" Edgerton, a professor at MIT. That post only mentioned one of his most famous photos in passing, but it was enough to send me in search of more. MIT has a page for the center named after the good Doctor that includes some of his most famous photos, including the milk drop that Michael mentioned, the bullet going through an apple, and the bullet going through the playing card. MIT's Tech Talk has a copy of his amazing Densmore Shute Bends the Shaft from 1938. The University of California at Riverside has a page about the presumably long gone travelling exhibition of Edgerton's photos. I recall seeing an exhibition of Doc's work in the Infinite Corridor at MIT when I was visiting with my friends who work there some years ago, but I'm not sure it's still there; I think I heard they took it down. In any case, I think it's just the neatest thing that Edgerton was able to make a career out of shooting things and taking pictures of them.

Posted at 10:57 PM

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I think there was an episode of Nova about Edgerton some years back. I remember he did stuff with underwater sonar or radar imaging too, beyond the cool strobe light stuff.

Posted by Anita Rowland at 1:33 AM, August 24, 2002 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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