Blinded by the light (slight return)

  • #1
Andy Resnick
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For whatever reason, the "blinded by the light" contest has stuck in my head, motivating me to take some images of sources.

As usual, don't try this at home.

Halogen (incandescent) bulbs are fairly easy to photograph: this is a standard 12V 100W bulb

[PLAIN]http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/1043/hibeams.jpg [Broken]

This was done by adding together an image of the unlit bulb with an image of the lit bulb- that's why the reflected filament is cold metal. Easy breezy.

More interesting are arc lamps- I have a spare 100W Hg high-pressure arc, so I thought it would be interesting to get some images while it was firing. Here's the unlit bulb-

[PLAIN]http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/3287/unlit.jpg [Broken]

The gap is about 1 mm, and somewhere inside is about 100 ug of Hg. There's other gases as well. After taking this image, I stopped down the lens to about f/120, set my shutter speed to 1/640 s, turned on the bulb and started snapping away, decreasing the shutter speed all the way down to 1/8000 s as the bulb came on- the process took about 20 seconds. After it was lit for a few minutes, I increased the shutter back to 1/60s and turned off the bulb to take an image of the hot electrodes.

I've never seen images of this process. Arc lamps are fairly complex to understand, but it appears that there is a multicolored diffuse glow from the other gases present, which heats up the Hg. The diffuse glow then goes away, and as the Hg heats up, it pools and collects in the glass as it evaporates, finally resulting in a concentrated arc.

The cooldown image clearly shows the thermal expansion of the electrodes.

[PLAIN]http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/8607/startup1.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/9681/startup2.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/4006/startup5.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/8358/startup8.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/4813/lits.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/6186/cooldown.jpg [Broken]

The other sources I want to try next are a HeNe laser (which I have to disassemble first) and a 1200W medium-pressure Hg arc we use for lithography. The laser should be straightforward, but the MP arc may be problematic due to the excessive amount of UV light. Stay tuned...
 
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  • #2
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Wow great pics Andy
 
  • #3
Gokul43201
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Sweet!
 
  • #4
Andy Resnick
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Thanks, guys.

While procrastinating putting together a talk for Friday, I remembered I have a germicidal lamp in the culture hood, so I figured I'd 'warm up' with that before trying the Mother Of All Fluorescent Lamps.

It wasn't pretty to get these- if I walked in on my student doing what I was doing, I'd be really p-ssed and kick them out with prejudice. Can't say I love these, but there's an ethereal quality that is interesting- it reminds me of the ion thrusters they build and test at NASA GRC.

[PLAIN]http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/8961/lit2.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/5458/lit1.jpg [Broken]

There's some sort of contraption inside the ring, but I couldn't get the angle to clearly see it. As it was, I practically had to climb inside the hood to aim and focus.
 
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  • #5
turbo
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Very cool pix!!!
 
  • #6
Andy Resnick
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As promised, here are some images of a NeHe laser and a medium-pressure Hg arc lamp. I dunno, there's nothing really compelling about these....

Here's the laser tube; a couple different views showing the laser cavity (the thin magenta capillary):

[PLAIN]http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8058/resultofdsc4056.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/320/resultofdsc4050.jpg [Broken]

I set up a Michaelson interferometer to take some obligatory magazine-style photos, but the ones I have are boring.

Finally the Hg arc- the electrodes are about 100mm apart. Here's the unlit bulb (actually, the 'cooldown' pic so you can see the electrodes a little easier)

[PLAIN]http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/6186/cooldown.jpg [Broken]

The initial startup light has a lot of fringes- I don't know if they are density variations or something else, but they are real.

[PLAIN]http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/4333/dsc4118.jpg [Broken]

And as the arc comes up, it looks like this:

[PLAIN]http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8607/startup1.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/6327/lit1r.jpg [Broken]

[PLAIN]http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/8679/startup3.jpg [Broken]

Something odd- if I let the camera set for a few seconds, the first image showed a definite blue tint, but images acquired immediately after showed the arc getting brighter and green (the change between images #2 and 3). I suspect this has to do with the UV content of the light, but I have no idea.

Enough of this... time to get back to work....
 
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