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On the Principle of Temporal Diminution in Serial Photography.

Authors
  • Mach, Ludwig1
  • 1 Translated into English by Daniel Bowles.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science in context
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2016
Volume
29
Issue
4
Pages
443–450
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S026988971600017X
PMID: 28079495
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In some cases our sensory organs are no longer capable of rendering processes in the external world perceptible to us. Their inadequacy expresses itself, for example, in phenomena that involve the kind of expansion of space and time in which the conditions for summary perception are no longer at all present. The resources that aid our immediate sense perception in these circumstances will thus be charged with the task of expanding or diminishing space and time to the extent that the contiguity and succession of events is comprehensible to us. The microscope is thus essentially based upon the principle of spatial expansion, the map on that of spatial diminution. The pertinent contrivances for these purposes are largely derived from the graphic arts. How stereoscopy and instantaneous photography, which is based on temporal expansion, facilitate our perception! In spite of the multifarious applications of photography, one has yet to take the step of employing it in the opposite direction, namely as a means of temporal diminution. We demonstrate that phenomena that take place in too ephemeral and too rapid a succession for our eyes can, with the help of instantaneous photographs in series, be analyzed with our senses as the event passes in a comparatively longer time. Quite analogously, we could also compress into a small duration the moments of an event separated widely from one another in time and thereby give our perception an understanding of the nature thereof.

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