Trillion frames per sec camera developed

Snapper can trace light at ultra high speeds

MIT has developed a camera that can record single beams of light travelling through objects at a massive trillion frames per second.

The camera has 500 sensors, which are all timed down to picosecond (or one trillonth of a second to you and me) accuracy. Illuminating the subject multiple times with a laser pulse, shoot many hundreds od images each time recording a different area. The images are then stitched together to form one single video file. It is about 40 billion times faster than a UK television camera.

Because direct recording of light is impossible, and as the camera is only capable of capturing 1.71 picoseconds of footage at a time, the camera must repeat the process to assemble a complete file.


The team behind the camera claimed that the technology could be used to understand ultrafast processes and described it as "femto-photography."

It takes around an hour to create enough shots to make a final video, which represents only a fraction of a second of real time. One example of the technology in action showed a pule of light, less than a millimetre long, travelling through a bottle at a rate of half a millimetre per frame.

As well as helping scientists to understand light, MIT claims that there could also be practical applications, including use in medical imaging.

Via BBC News


News Reporter

Amy (Twitter, Google+, blog) is a freelance journalist and photographer. She worked full-time as the News Reporter / Technical Writer (cameras) across Future Publishing's photography brands and TechRadar between 2009 and 2014 having become obsessed with photography at an early age. Since graduating from Cardiff Journalism School, she's also won awards for her blogging skills and photographic prowess, and once snatched exhibition space from a Magnum photographer.