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Proceedings Paper

High-speed cameras at Los Alamos
Author(s): Berlyn Brixner
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Paper Abstract

In 1943, there was no camera with the microsecond resolution needed for research in Atomic Bomb development. We had the Mitchell camera (100 fps), the Fastax (10 000), the Marley (100 000), the drum streak (moving slit image) 10-5 s resolution, and electro-optical shutters for 10-6 s. Julian Mack invented a rotating-mirror camera for 10-7 s, which was in use by 1944. Small rotating mirror changes secured a resolution of 10-8 s. Photography of oscilloscope traces soon recorded 10-6 resolution, which was later improved to 10-8 s. Mack also invented two time resolving spectrographs for studying the radiation of the first atomic explosion. Much later, he made a large aperture spectrograph for shock wave spectra. An image dissecting drum camera running at 107 frames per second (fps) was used for studying high velocity jets. Brixner invented a simple streak camera which gave 10-8 s resolution. Using a moving film camera, an interferometer pressure gauge was developed for measuring shock-front pressures up to 100 000 psi. An existing Bowen 76-lens frame camera was speeded up by our turbine driven mirror to make 1 500 000 fps. Several streak cameras were made with writing arms from 4 1/2 to 40 in. and apertures from f/2.5 to f/20. We made framing cameras with top speeds of 50 000, 1 000 000, 3 500 000, and 14 000 000 fps.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2869, 22nd International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics, (28 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273429
Show Author Affiliations
Berlyn Brixner, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2869:
22nd International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics
Dennis L. Paisley; ALan M. Frank, Editor(s)

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