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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Science And Ultra-High Frame Rate Photography

What The Heck Is A Prince Rupert's Drop Anyway?

This is some very cool information that one of my sons sent me and I just had to share it because it really is fascinating! Plus, it uses photography in the form of ultra-high frame rate cameras to help understand what's going on. In the old days Eadweard Muybridge used high sequential frame rates by mounting twelve cameras in a row and firing them sequentially in order to better understand animal gaits. Today we use frame rates many orders of magnitude higher than Muybridge did (and all in one camera) to better understand our world.

So what is a Prince Rupert's drop? It is what occurs when molten glass is dripped into cool water allowing the outside of the glass 'glob' to solidify well before the inside. As you will see in the video below, this yields a solid structure with unusual tensile strength.  It's fascinating and explained in the video well better than I can in writing. So head to the video below and learn something very cool. But don't stop there! Continue to the video below that to see just how strong and unusual a Prince Rupert's drop can be.

So now you get the idea of what the drop is. But just how strong is it? The video below demonstrates that it is very, very strong indeed. Like stronger than a speeding bullet strong!

Though I do wish someone that knows more physics than I would explain why, since the Prince Rupert's drop isn't held in place, the bullet shatters as opposed to simply pushing the drop out of its path. At any rate, it really is amazing what we can see and understand using ultra-high frame rates in photography!