The Big Dripper is a concept based on Harold Edgerton's Piddler. Edgerton's Piddler, also known as a "Time Fountain", uses a stroboscopic light source to highlight individual drops of water in a constant stream of liquid. With the strobe off, the stream looks like a solid cylinder of falling water. With the strobe on, and correctly synchronized with the actuation of the pump, the individual drips of water that compose the stream are exposed. The drips appear to hang in space as if frozen in time. By modulating the phase relationship between the frequency of the pump and the frequency of the strobe, the device can generate optical illusions of motion. For example, the individual drops can appear to fall slowly, or even crawl upwards.
The Big Dripper was featured on Hack A Day!