The world’s fastest camera developed by the researchers from the California Institute of Technology in the US can film at 10 trillion frames per second which make it possible for it to see “freeze time” and see the light in slow motion. According to its creators, the camera might offer more clues on the interactions between light and matter.
The connections between innovations in non-linear optics and imaging paved the way to new and efficient techniques for microscopic analysis of dynamic phenomena of physics and biology. However, to achieve such a feat, the scientists needed a method to record images in real time, but at a very short temporal resolution and in only one exposure.
Currently, the researchers employ the so-called ultrashort laser pulses. However, this technique is only suitable for some more inert samples, while the more fragile ones might are impossible to examine with this method.
World’s Fastest Camera Can View Light In Slow Motion
Although compressed ultrafast photography (CUP) represented the ideal starting point, the scientists needed to integrate femtosecond lasers. They improved the CUP concept with a femtosecond streak camera and a data acquisition type similar to that used in tomography.
“We knew that by using only a femtosecond streak camera, the image quality would be limited. So to improve this, we added another camera that acquires a static image. Combined with the image acquired by the femtosecond streak camera, we can use what is called a Radon transformation to obtain high-quality images while recording ten trillion frames per second,” explained Lihong Wang from the Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory (COIL).
As it is the world’s fastest camera, capable of filming at 10 trillion frames per second and seeing the light in slow motion, among other features, the so-called T-CUP camera can open new roads to improved microscopes for physics, biomedicine, as well as other fields of scientific activity.
“It’s an achievement in itself, but we already see possibilities for increasing the speed to up to one quadrillion frames per second,” added Jinyang Liang, also from Caltech.