“Certain scientific circles of the nineteenth century were home to a rather unexpected preoccupation: the dropping of cats,” says an article in The Public Domain Review. Apparently, some of the most prominent theoretical physicists of the time experimented with dropping cats from varying heights to understand why they always land on their feet. At Trinity College, Cambridge, this activity was most common.

The physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, arguably the best theoretical physicist at the time, wrote in a letter to his wife:

With the invention of chronophotography some decades later (and which allowed multiple images to be exposed in quick succession) some important deductions could be drawn. Etienne-Jules Marey, a photographer and scientist, captured 12 frames per second to show how a cat falling, even with no rotational movement at the beginning of the decline, would gain momentum while in free fall. His photographs, shown here, are downright charming.

Marey published these photos, along with his research, in a volume of Comptes Rendus in 1894.

16552910681_84763014a8_o

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“Certain scientific circles of the nineteenth century were home to a rather unexpected preoccupation: the dropping of cats,” says an article in The Public Domain Review. Apparently, some of the most prominent theoretical physicists of the time experimented with dropping cats from varying heights to understand why they always land on their feet. At Trinity College, Cambridge, this activity was most common.

The physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, arguably the best theoretical physicist at the time, wrote in a letter to his wife:

With the invention of chronophotography some decades later (and which allowed multiple images to be exposed in quick succession) some important deductions could be drawn. Etienne-Jules Marey, a photographer and scientist, captured 12 frames per second to show how a cat falling, even with no rotational movement at the beginning of the decline, would gain momentum while in free fall. His photographs, shown here, are downright charming.

Marey published these photos, along with his research, in a volume of Comptes Rendus in 1894.

16552910681_84763014a8_o

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