World’s Fastest Camera Sees Light In Slow Motion.

Light is the fastest thing in the universe, so trying to capture its motion is a big challenge. But, what if I say you all that now you can do so? Yes, there is a technology capable of doing so.

Researchers have developed a camera which captures 10 trillion frames per second and is the world’s fastest camera. This technology makes it possible to freeze time and captures video in slow motion. The new imaging technique Compressed ultrafast photography (CUP) was developed. However, this technique was improved and T-CUP system was developed. T-CUP can power a new generation of microscopes for biomedical, materials science, and other applications. This camera represents a fundamental shift, making it possible to analyze interactions between light and matter at an unparalleled temporal resolution.

Probably you know the term “frames per second” (fps), even more, and more talk about cameras in smartphones, you may have heard of cameras capable of capturing millions and billions of fps. In fact, there is a “fight” between some entities to see who does more and more seriously in this area. The most powerful slow-motion camera on a smartphone belongs to Sony with its 960 fps. This number may seem unrealistic when we have 120 fps available on good day-to-day devices. Of course, this number is to hit and for this, there is still something more fantastic presented by the hand of Caltech: 10 000 000 000 000 frames per second. This camera is so powerful that it captures the faster movement of the Universe, a ray of light.

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Within the fight, we mentioned above is the achievement of a record that was previously at 5 billion fps. With this new system, the number is doubled to 10 billion fps. But those responsible for the project expected to reach 100 billion fps because it is a scalable system.

Slow-motion of the fastest thing in the Universe.

As you would imagine, the entire structure of the chamber occupies a large space, in fact, it occupies an entire room. In truth, we can not say that it is a camera as we imagine it to be, it is a set of multiple cameras managed and synchronized by computational algorithms of photography.

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More specifically, the system consists of an ultra-compressed camera (receiving 100 billion frames per second) and a static camera (which is what makes it reach 10 billion fps). The data from both chambers are processed using an algorithm to reconstruct the image at a super slow speed which is known as the T-CUP method.

We are at a level where the “second” time measure does not correspond to the time requirements achieved in this project. The smaller scale that should be used requires femtoseconds. One femtosecond is 10−15 or 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of a second. But the capture of femtoseconds is not the only difficulty for this new camera, because after capturing them it is necessary to store what was collected.


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