a website collaboration between Science Service and the Smithsonian Institution

1943 - pictures at the rate of 2,000 a second reveal power lines on/off in a few hundredths of a second


CD 2478086 E&MP15.005

Electric Circuits, Breakers

January 1943

Electric arcs oscillate and die out ingas bubbles when circuit breaker contacts pull apart under oil.

Drs. Joseph Slepian and Thomas E. Browne, Jr., made this discovery by taking moving pictures at the rate of 2,000 a second through glass windows which revealed the inner workings of the apparatus.

The pictures have shown engineers how to improve protective equipment which switches power lines on and off in a few hundredths of a second 

Original Caption by Science Service

National Museum of American History


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