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Doc Edgerton

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Shockwave.jpg
Shadowgraph of a .22-caliber bullet in flight
Taken by an MIT freshman in 1962, in Edgerton's lab, using some of his equipment and methods.

Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton (April 6, 1903January 4, 1990) was a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He grew up in Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska. After graduating from UN, he married Esther Garret in 1928. During their marriage they had three children.

He was a pioneer in strobe photography, using the technique to capture images of balloons during their bursting, or a bullet during its impact with an apple, for example. He was awarded a bronze medal by the Royal Photographic Society in 1934. He also invented the Rapatronic camera.

In 1937 he began a lifelong association with photographer Gjon Mili, who used strobe equipment, particularly "multiflash" strobe, to produce strikingly beautiful photographs, many of which appeared in Life Magazine.

He was a cofounder of the company EG&G, with Kenneth Germeshausen and Herbert Grier, in 1947. EG&G became a prime contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission and had a major role in testing nuclear weapons for the United States through the fifties and sixties.

His work was instrumental in the development of side-scan sonar technology, used to scan the sea floor for wrecks. Edgerton worked with the undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau. Edgerton participated in the discovery of the American Civil War battleship USS Monitor.

He was especially loved by MIT students for his willingness to teach and his kindness.

External links

  • The most famous of all Edgerton's photographs, the Milkdrop Coronet, can be seen here (http://www.agallery.com/Pages/photographers/edgerton.html) and here (http://www.eastman.org/4_educ/4_images/milkdrop.jpg).
  • The Edgerton Center at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/Edgerton/)de:Harold E. Edgerton
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