Phenomena

The Milk Crown

This frequently imitated photograph of a drop of milk splashing was taken by engineer Harold Edgerton in 1934. Edgerton pioneered the application of stroboscopic photography to everyday objects, allowing him to capture images with an effective shutter speed much faster than could be mechanically achieved. The photo captures the crown or coronet of a splash. The momentum of the incoming drop flings a thin sheet of liquid radially outward. The rim of this sheet breaks down into thin ligaments that eject tiny droplets at their tips when surface tension can no longer hold the milk together.  (Image credit: H. Edgerton, via The Art Reserve; submitted by Vince G)

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