In the world’s fastest film camera, light practically stands still!
The world’s fastest film camera can record some five trillion frames per second.
A research group at Lund University in Sweden has developed a camera that can film at a rate equivalent to five trillion images per second. It can capture events as short as 0.2 trillionths of a second.
This is faster than has previously been possible.
Above, image credit Lund University / Elias Kristensson (Photo: Kennet Ruona)
To illustrate the technology, the researchers have successfully filmed how light – a collection of photons – travels a distance corresponding to the thickness of a paper. In reality, it only takes a picosecond, but on film the process has been slowed down by a trillion times.
Currently, high-speed cameras capture images one by one in a sequence. The new technology is based on an innovative algorithm, and instead captures several coded images in one picture. It then sorts them into a video sequence afterwards.
In short, the method involves exposing what you are filming (for example a chemical reaction) to light in the form of laser flashes where each light pulse is given a unique code. The object reflects the light flashes which merge into the single photograph. They are subsequently separated using an encryption key.