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Proceedings Paper

High-speed photography of the first hydrogen-bomb explosion
Author(s): Berlyn Brixner
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Paper Abstract

Obtaining detailed photographs of the early stages of the first hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952 posed a number of problems. First, it was necessary to invent a continuous-access camera which could solve the problem that existing million-picture-per-second cameras were blind most of the time. The solution here was to alter an existing camera design so that two modified cameras could be mounted around a single high-speed rotating mirror. A second problem, acquiring the necessary lenses of precisely specified focal lengths, was solved by obtaining a large number of production lenses from war surplus salvage. A third hurdle to be overcome was to test the new camera at an A-bomb explosion. Finally, it was necessary to solve the almost impossible difficulty of building a safe camera shelter close to a megaton explosion. This paper describes the way these problems were solved. Unfortunately the successful pictures that were taken are still classified.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 1993
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1801, 20th International Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics, (1 January 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.145815
Show Author Affiliations
Berlyn Brixner, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1801:
20th International Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics
John Marks Dewey; Roberto G. Racca, Editor(s)

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