Thursday, February 3, 2011

Atomic Bomb detonation by Harold Edgerton


Developed by Dr. Harold Edgerton in the 1940s, the Rapatronic photographic technique 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, and each Rapatronic camera would take exactly one photograph.



Harold Edgerton's story is one of humble Nebraskan beginnings that sparked a child's curiosity for taking things apart to see how they worked. So bloomed the genius that led him to become an MIT Professor who founded his Strobe Alley workshop which perfected stroboscopic photography. His amazing works include a lightbulb stopped in the process of shattering, the drop of milk frozen in midair splash, a bullet shown shooting it's way through a playing card, shredding it in half as it goes. One of the things Edgerton was asked to photograph was the night time detonation of an atomic bomb by the military. He managed to capture the process beautifully but also the strange beauty of destruction at the same time.








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