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.
Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton invented the rapatronic camera, a device capable of capturing images from the fleeting instant directly following a nuclear explosion. These single-use cameras were able to snap a photo one ten-millionth of a second after detonation from about seven miles away, with an exposure time of as little as ten nanoseconds.