Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various instruments used to observe moving objects by making them appear stationary, especially with pulsed illumination or mechanical devices that intermittently interrupt observation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Instrument for studying or observing periodic movement by rendering a moving body visible only at regular intervals.
  • n. A lamp that produces short bursts of light that synchronizes with a camera shutter for photographing fast-moving objects; A photo made by such a machine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for studying or observing the successive phases of a periodic or varying motion by means of light which is periodically interrupted.
  • n. An optical toy similar to the phenakistoscope. See Phenakistoscope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument used in the study of the periodic motion of a body, as one in rapid revolution or vibration, by illuminating it at frequent intervals (for example, by electric sparks or by a beam of light made intermittent by passing through a moving perforated plate), or again by viewing it through the openings of a revolving disk: also used as a toy. The phenakistoscope and zoëtrope represent one form of stroboscope.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. scientific instrument that provides a flashing light synchronized with the periodic movement of an object; can make moving object appear stationary

Etymologies

Greek strobos, a whirling; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots + -scope.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek στρόβος ("twisting, whirling") +‎ -scope. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Until the invention of the stroboscope, scientists could not understand how hummingbirds hover.

    Birdology

  • With a flash duration of one hundred-thousandth of a second, the stroboscope finally revealed the motion of wings that had been too fast for other cameras to capture.

    Birdology

  • The flashes were like an irregular stroboscope and the rumbling was like an enormous building was being demolished nearby.

    This weekend...

  • Using a stroboscope and laser, a team led by Swedish researcher Johan Mauritsson, assistant professor in atomic physics at Lund University, went beyond measuring the end result of an electron's interaction, they tracked and filmed its process.

    Electron filmed for the first time

  • Their method involved using a stroboscope and a laser that uses attosecond pulses to film electron motion.

    Electron filmed for the first time

  • In 1926 Edgerton had begun research which continued when he joined the faculty at MIT that ended with the stroboscope: illuminating spinning turbine blades with a light flashing at the same speed as they were spinning, thus “freezing” the image of a single blade for examination.

    American Connections

  • They even have Strobe Lab, including the required lab experiments student must supply own stroboscope, rifle, ammunition, and target objects.

    BatesLine: February 2006 Archives

  • Using a stroboscope, which can flash 100 times a second or more, single-image photographs can capture every split second of high-speed maneuvers such as figure skating jumps.

    USATODAY.com - Toughest sport? Let debate begin

  • The trestle spars flashed past like a stroboscope.

    One Shot

  • In time, the batteries ran out on the stroboscope, and the giant who was shaking the cell like an unopened Christmas parcel finally got bored and put it down on the floor again.

    Boiling a frog

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