The objective of this research effort was to investigate the process of Kirlian electrophotography with respect to the physical processes which occur during the exposure, and the electrical parameters of the exposing device. This project was not intended to discuss what possible parapsychological phenomina are revealed by Kirlian electrophotography, or it's possible applications. The following is a list of conclusions which were drawn from the experimentation. 1) The Kirlian image is a result of a complex process known as field emission of conducting objects under an applied high voltage AC field. Furthermore, it is the belief of the author that this is the only process which contributes to the formation of the photographic image. The process of field emission is mainly a function of the local (microscopic) electric field strength. 2) Field emission will occur only with materials with sufficient free electrons which can he liberated from the object's surface. Metals, and living systems such as human and plant tissue are the only materials known which meet this criterion. Semiconductors were not tried. 3) For the apparatus used, the only electrical parameters which make a signifigant contribution to the subjective quality of images of living systems when compared to experimental error are the applied voltage and the pulse envelope repetition rate. Furthermore, there appears to exist a linear relationship between the pulse envelope repetition rate and this quality factor. The relationship between voltage and quality is much more complex, and has an optimum value of approximately 22 Kilovolts peak-to-peak.
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School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Suba, Robert, "An Analysis of Kirlian Electrophotography" (1977). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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