MIT Develops A 'Trillion Frames Per Second' Camera

December 13, 2011


Seen here giving the camera their best serious but cool, MIT researchers Andreas Velten and Ramesh Raskar pose in front of a Coke bottle filled with highlighter fluid or something. I don't know, physics and I don't always get along. That's how I'm able to levitate. Just kidding, it's magnets and wires. Anyway, these two studs have developed a means of capturing shots at 1/1,000,000,000,000th of a second, enabling photography of the movement of light itself. SU-SU-SU-SCIENCE!:

Basically, nanosecond laser pulses are shone on an object. In front of the camera is a narrow slit, so that only a thin slice of the laser light can be seen at one time -- the technical name for this device is a "streak camera." The laser pulses, with very complex timing circuitry, are then picked up by an array of 500 sensors in the camera -- but only one "scan line" at a time (thanks to the narrow slit). Using mirrors, the camera's angle of view is changed over time until each of these one-dimensional slices can be built up into a complete 2D image. This process, which takes about an hour, has led to one of its creators -- Ramesh Raskar -- to dub this trillion-FPS wonder "the world's slowest fastest camera."

There's a video of the two creators explaining the technology after the jump that I was *this close* to being able to wrap my head around. Get it? Because my head is long like a jump rope. One time I even tripped a purse-snatcher, then used my head to tie him to a light pole until the cops arrived. True story 100% lies.

Hit the jump and get your laser light photography show on.

MIT slows down light with trillion-frames-per-second video camera [extremetech]
MIT builds camera that can capture at the speed of light [engadget]

Thanks to FasterThanLightJJ and The Brett, who once watched a hummingbird flap its wings at a trillion frames-per-second and it took 5 hours.

  • wth
  • Okay, I'm admit I'm not MIT material ... but, I don't get it.  It's a slo-mo camera, great... what am I seeing exactly? Cause it just looks like someone is slowly moving a light across the bottle... big whoop, I can get that look with my old Panasonic VHS camera.

  • DJWatson

    They couldn't have taken off the blank label from the coke bottle... UH I MEAN RANDOM SODA PRODUCT.

  • Azariel_z

    I was really good with High Speed cameras but then...
    >> -------- Knee ------- ►

  • so u just comment on everything then, with the knee joke

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  • chase hannem

    who here was high as fuck and thought cool shit would happen......

  • This_Update_Sucks

    Someone do a "Streak Camera" joke. NOW.

  • I'll take one! waits decade/

  • MorningPanda

    "medical imaging"

    What are they going to do? Shove a mirror up your butt and rotate it while they take a trillion pictures?

    "our tests show you have a little blockage in your colon."

  • hubja

    Question is... who is going to be the first to take a picture of their junk with this?

  • I kinda felt like the guy with the goofy accent was just making shit up. I have no idea what is going on.

  • am i supposed to be doesn't fit in my pocket and it uses a sapphire laser...that's not even my birth stone

  • first again, holy crap im gettin laid tonight im not

  • Terry_Jim

    An"ultrasound with light instead of sound" would have amazing resolution and magnification, like the difference between light and  electron microscopes Depends on the depth of laser penetration of flesh for much practical use, I suspect. Interesting stuff!

     The work of   Doc Edgerton (pioneer of stop-action photography) is celebrated here. Well worth a stop when you are traveling across Nebraska (And who wouldn't?)

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