A Glimpse at the MIT Camera That Shoots at the Speed of Light

Here’s an interesting look at the amazing camera being developed at MIT that shoots a staggering one trillion frames per second — fast enough to create footage of light traveling:

[…] the researchers were able to create slow-motion movies, showing what appears to be a bullet of light that moves from one end of the bottle to the other […] Each horizontal line is exposed for just 1.71 picoseconds, or trillionths of a second, Dr. Raskar said — enough time for the laser beam to travel less than half a millimeter through the fluid inside the bottle.

To create a movie of the event, the researchers record about 500 frames in just under a nanosecond, or a billionth of a second. Because each individual movie has a very narrow field of view, they repeat the process a number of times, scanning it vertically to build a complete scene that shows the beam moving from one end of the bottle, bouncing off the cap and then scattering back through the fluid. If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years. [#]

They believe that the technology may one day be useful for medicine, industry, science, or even consumer photography.

Speed of Light Lingers in Face of New Camera [NYTimes]