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]

  • Nilesh Yadav

    according to me, itm was impossible to capture picture of travelling light since photons have to reach camera sensor to visualize scene into picture itself. 
    And also technologically impossible at this time, since the fastest computer on earth has internal latency of 500 nanoseconds which is 500 thousand times slower than picosecond. and to trim that down to picoseconds they will need CPU speed at faster by factor of thousands. but still, lately everything seems to be possible..

  • Marc Garrido

    Wow, It’s quite impressive! Maybe the camera have some delays saving the captured information for the limitations exposed by Nilesh but I guess it shout work, MIT guys are quite serious with their work.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

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  • Jlambs

    Excuse my lack of knowledge here, but doesn’t this ‘break’ the uncertainty principle?

  • Brent

    How long until they adapt this for use in porn?

  • Shoredolphins

    I’d like to see the actual photos ………waiting……..:)

  • Matt

    I’m not sure.