On Drops

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AMONG the many ways in which electricity is called in to give assistance in various physical investigations, one of the most elegant and interesting is the application of the electric spark to render momentarily visible a body that is rapidly moving or changing its form. The duration of the electric spark is so short— probably not more than 1/24000 of a second—that a body, such as a rotating wheel or oscillating rod, moving in a dark room with extreme rapidity, will, if illumined by an electric spark, seem stationary, since the wheel or rod has not time to change its position appreciably during the short instant for which it is visible. If the spark be bright, the impression is left on the eye long enough for the attention to be directed to it, and for a clear idea to be formed of what has been seen.

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WORTHINGTON, A. On Drops . Nature 16, 165–166 (1877) doi:10.1038/016165a0

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