Abstract

The rapid progress in image tube development during recent years has greatly extended the potentialitie of high-speed photography which surpassed even the highly refined oscilloscopic method in time resolution and was made able to record nonrepeated short-duration processes emitting few light quanta. The new situation in high-speed photography has arisen due to the advent of cascaded image converters which have the advantages of ultimate time resolution (down to 10−14 sec), ultimate light efficiency (single light quanta being easily recorded), and high signal-to-noise ratio due to information communication via images consisting of 105–106 resolved elements. The ultra high-speed photography technique using a fast electric field sweep of the electronic image in image converters is called the electron-optical chronography. It has been applied to study spark discharges and secondary emission electron pulses with experimental time resolutions of 10−12–10−13 sec, which greatly exceeded that of conventional streak cameras, Kerr cells, oscilloscopes, and coincidence circuits. The purpose of the present paper is to analyze the fundamental time-resolution limitations of conventional short-time research instruments, to consider the ultimate performance limits of the electron-optical chronography, to describe special image tubes for short-time research, and to review their applications in experimental physics.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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