World’s Fastest Camera Captures 10 Trillion Frames Per Second

Posted: Oct 14 2018, 3:36am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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World’s Fastest Camera Captures 10 Trillion Frames Per Second
The trillion-frame-per-second compressed ultrafast photography system.

The new camera literally makes it possible to freeze time and observe light in extremely slow motion.

Researchers have developed the world’s fastest camera that can capture 10 trillion frames per seconds. That speed is thousands of times faster than conventional high-speed cameras.

The new high-speed camera, called T-CUP, can literally freeze time and makes it possible to see incredibly rapid processes even light in extremely slow motion.

Many phenomena in chemistry, physics and biology have not been captured before. In order to observe them, a camera requires a way to record images in real time at a very short temporal resolution. No current camera is fast and sensitive enough to perform this job.

Compressed ultra-fast photography (CUP) served as a starting point for the new super-fast camera. CUP is a dynamic imaging technique that can capture 100 billion frames per second. Still, it is not capable of integrating ultra-short pulses in femtosecond range. To overcome this limitation, researchers developed a femtosecond streak camera that also incorporates a data acquisition system used in applications such as tomography.

“We knew that by using only a femtosecond streak camera, the image quality would be limited," said Professor Lihong Wang, the Bren Professor of Medial Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Caltech. "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.”

The ultra-fast camera set the world record for imaging speed by capturing the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse in real time. This process was recorded in 25 frames taken at an interval of 400 femtoseconds and shows the light pulse's shape, intensity and angle of inclination in a remarkable detail. Speeds like this hold great promise for studying previously unexplored complex ultra-fast processes.

“It’s an achievement in itself,” said lead author Jinyang Liang, who was an engineer for Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory (COIL). “But we already see possibilities for increasing the speed to up to one quadrillion (10 exp 15) frames per second!”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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