The water is reversible, but time is not...
August 8, 2006 7:57 AM   Subscribe

"The trick to education is to teach people in such a way that they don't realize they're learning until it's too late."
Fluorescein-dyed water appears suspended in midair, only to "flow" upwards moments later. The careful dance of a splashing drop is frozen and taken for granted, painstakingly analyzed in a brilliant defiance of how water should behave. Such is the wonder of what modder Nate True calls his Time Fountain (YouTube embedded & worth it)—a well-documented, DIY version of classic science center favorite, the Water Piddler. MIT's own Strobe Alley is lined with photos created using the same technology, pioneered by Harold Eugene Edgerton, a professor whose work you're almost certainly familiar with. Naturally, some beautiful pieces have followed under the same ideal, courtesy Martin Waugh.
posted by disillusioned (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
It's like a highlighter and a Brothers Quay video had sex!
posted by quite unimportant at 8:30 AM on August 8, 2006

"The trick to education is to teach people in such a way that they don't realize they're learning until it's too late."

Who says? I like learning.
posted by pracowity at 8:32 AM on August 8, 2006

What Sound Looks Like.
Modder Nate True Ture is amazing.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:38 AM on August 8, 2006

There's another one of these set up at the very cool MIT Museum, along with more Edgerton exhibits. (Also worth seeing at the MIT Museum is the Arthur Ganson exhibit.)
posted by sriracha at 8:38 AM on August 8, 2006

Well, the Time Fountain link is borked. Anybody have a link directly to the youtube page?
posted by antifuse at 8:42 AM on August 8, 2006

A PIC16F628 suitably programmed

He had me up until that point. I really want to make one otherwise... that is really a beautiful display, especially with the stream manipulation. I'd like to see one of these that was scaled up to a large size! Thanks for the great post, now I'm going to skulk around feeling inferior about my lack of knowledge on programming microcontrollers.
posted by prostyle at 8:58 AM on August 8, 2006

LED/Time Fountain is the link to the YouTube video, I believe.
posted by skynxnex at 9:06 AM on August 8, 2006

MITfilter (just kidding, my mind is all goatse-open)
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:03 AM on August 8, 2006

/me is confused by weapons-grade pandemonium...

Nate True? (I'm positive that's at least the Time Fountain guy's name...)
posted by disillusioned at 1:35 PM on August 8, 2006

It's a pun, disillusioned.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:00 PM on August 8, 2006

Using nonvisible light whose effects on the object are visible as the strobe is such a fantastic idea that I think I may have to go rest for awhille.

Indeed, and I bet it doesn't have a seizure risk either.
Very cool.
posted by Tube at 3:06 PM on August 8, 2006

The strikethrough confused me on absolutely no sleep, wow.

heh. heh. nature. heh. :p
posted by disillusioned at 4:29 PM on August 8, 2006

Wow... seeing the Youtube video, that is DAMN cool.
posted by antifuse at 4:04 AM on August 9, 2006

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