High Voltage and X-Ray Experiments

  Text and Graphics Copyright © 2005 − 2010 Henning Umland

The following descriptions are given for the purpose of information only. I do not encourage ANYBODY to conduct experiments like those shown below, and I do not assume liability for any damage resulting from such experiments. People working with high voltage and X-rays should have a solid background in physics and electronics and should know what they are doing. The high voltage sources described here are much more powerful than generators of static electricity like, e. g., influence machines, Van de Graaff generators, etc. High voltage can kill instantly, X-rays in the long run (radiation sickness, cancer) if not handled properly.


Making Photographic X-Ray Images (III)


3D X-ray Photography

One can use the same equipment as before to make 3D X-ray photos. To obtain a stereogram (see Wikipedia) one has to take two successive photographs between which the X-ray tube is shifted from position A (left) to position B (right) on a line parallel to the fluorescent screen. Ideally, the center of the object should be on the same plane as the camera, position A, and position B. Further, A and B should be symmetrical to the axis defined by the camera and the center of the object. In contrast to common stereo photography, the position of the camera remains the same during the procedure. The diagram shows the experimental setup as seen from above.

Photography with Fluorescent Screen

3D X-Ray Photography with Fluorescent Screen and Digital Camera


For this experiment, the distance between the back of the camera and the fluorescent screen was set at 40 cm. The distance between X-ray tube and screen was 45 cm. The displacement of the tube with respect to the optical axis was ±3 cm (6 cm is the approximate distance between the eyes).



This is a stereogram of the radio tube shown earlier. It is best viewed with the cross-eyed method, i. e., the right eye has to observe the left image while the left eye observes the right one.*


3D tube 3D tube

Stereogram of Russian Radio Tube


Here is a stereogram of a snail shell, also designed for the cross-eyed method:


3D snail shell 3D snail shell

Stereogram of Snail Shell


Here is a stereogram of a small exposure meter (Gossen Sixtino):


Sixtino Left Sixtino Right

Stereogram of Exposure Meter


*Watching ordinary stereograms without technical aids requires some training, and some people find it uncomfortable or do not manage it at all. I found the following method quite helpful: View the stereogram from a distance of approx. 30−50 cm. Hold a pencil in an upright position, put the tip of it between the images and move it slowly towards your face while keeping your eyes focused on it. Observe the background simultaneously. As soon as the latter appears to consist of three non-overlapping images, try to focus your eyes on the one in the middle. As soon as you see a three-dimensional image, slowly remove the pencil downwards out of sight. Repeat the procedure as often as necessary to learn how to adapt your eyes to this method of viewing.


Using Anaglyph Maker 1.08, I merged the stereograms into anaglyph images. These have to be viewed through a red/cyan filter pair (left filter red) to get the impression of seeing 3D images. In general, anaglyph images are more convenient to view than stereograms consisting of two separate pictures.


3D tube

Anaglyph Image of Russian Radio Tube



Snail Shell

Anaglyph Image of Snail Shell



Exposure Meter

Anaglyph Image of Exposure Meter



Will be continued...


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