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Rapatronic Camera: An Atomic Blast Shot at 1/100,000,000th of a Second

Joshua Trees with the front row seat to Doomstown. 3/100,000,000th of a second after A-bomb detonation, caught by Doc Edgerton's Rapatronic camera.

Eerie Rapatronic Nuclear Photographs:Taken Within 10 Nano-Seconds of Detonation

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The camera that captured the first millisecond of a nuclear bomb blast

The camera that captured the first millisecond of a nuclear bomb blast. These are photographs of the first few milliseconds of nuclear explosions. They lead scientists to several new discoveries as to how nuclear bombs worked. But how do you capture the first millisecond of a nuclear bomb? With several rapatronic cameras, a Kerr cell, and a little physics.

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Harold Edgert

Photo of a Nuclear Explosion Less than 1 Millisecond After Detonation Captured less than 1 millisecond after the detonation using a rapatronic camera, which is capable of exposure times as brief as 10 nanoseconds. The photograph was shot from roughly 7 miles away during tests in Nevada (1952). The fireball is roughly 20 meters in diameter, and three times hotter than the surface of the sun.

The rapatronic camera is a high-speed camera capable of recording a still image with an exposure time as brief as 10 nanoseconds (billionths of a second).

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1952-test-01.jpg 396×400 pixels

Rapatronic photography. The Rapatronic is a camera made by the EG&G Co. in the 1950's to photograph atomic explosions at the rate of 1/1,000,000 of a second.

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