24 April 2007

Rapatronic photography of nuclear explosions

In the 1940s, nuclear scientists were unable to study the initial moment of nuclear detonation as there were no cameras with fast enough shutter speed to capture the image.

However, that problem was solved by Dr. Harold Edgerton with his invention of the Rapatronic photographic technique. His camera allowed very early times in a nuclear explosion's fireball growth to be recorded on film. The exposures were often as short as 10 nanoseconds. However, you could only take one photograph per camera.

But, it made for some very interesting pictures.

Kind of spooky, actually.

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