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How do spark cameras work?

  1. Jun 18, 2011 #1
    I’m not sure if they are even used anymore, but back in the day engineers used spark cameras to capture very brief timescale events.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2011 #2
    They were used only until Harold Edgerton showed he could take an aerial photo of MIT at midnight using a flashtube mounted on the belly of a B-18 in 1941. See

    http://invention.smithsonian.org/resources/online_articles_detail.aspx?id=618 [Broken]

    Also see http://www.springerlink.com/content/k96yxljy0tt29rgx/

    Henry Talbot is purported to be the first user of spark photography in the 1850's.

    Bob S
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Jun 19, 2011 #3
    Thanks, I wish I could read that Shock Waves journal article. It looks really interesting. Another question: did X-ray radiography replace spark photography?
     
  5. Jun 20, 2011 #4
    By the way, how do spark cameras work?
     
  6. Jun 20, 2011 #5

    Mech_Engineer

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    When you call it a "spark camera," what exactly do you mean? Do you mean a conventionally shuttered camera with a fast flash which exposes the object while the shutter is open?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  7. Jun 21, 2011 #6
    For a camera with a shutter, the shutter is in T (time) mode, in a dark room. For view cameras, the lite-tite dark slide on film holders is pulled out. Sparks in air generally do not give a uniform spectral (white light) distribution. Electronically triggered flash lamps were a major upgrade. Triggering a spark discharge in air was usually done by manually discharging a capacitor bank, so synchronizing with a shutter was difficult.
     
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