PetaPixel

Researchers Create World’s Fastest Camera, Captures Frames at 1/6th the Speed of Light

BN-EA956_jcamer_G_20140811024941

As part of a joint venture between the University of Tokyo and Keio University, researchers have developed a new type of high-speed camera technology called Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography (STAMP). And it’s about to blow any and all previous high-speed photography out of the water.

The hardware uses an optical shutter to capture consecutive frames at under one-trillionth of a second – exponentially faster than mechanical or electronic shutters are capable of. Granted, the resolution is a paltry 450px x 450x, it’s 1000x faster than anything out there now, capable of capturing events occurring as fast as 1/6th the speed of light.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.56.42 PM

How is this feat possible, though? Well, for the technical details, we’ll leave that to the researchers to explain:

The principle of this method—’motion picture femtophotography’—is all-optical mapping of the target’s time-varying spatial profile onto a burst stream of sequentially timed photographs with spatial and temporal dispersion.

The device is far from pretty and rather heavy, coming in at approximately one square meter. But it’s a step in the right direction, pushing boundaries, capturing events such as chemical reactions and conduction of heat – two things almost impossible to capture previously.

(via Gizmodo via Wall Street Journal)


 
  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

  • Paul-Simon

    I believe this article is a bit uninformative or even (unintentionally) misleading.
    If this works like previous similiar cameras, it does not produce these pictures in one shot, or one shutter actuation. It takes maybe hundreds of pictures of the same laser-illuminated thing to gather enough light information.
    This means you can’t exactly go and photograph bullets with it. Or any moving object at all.
    It’s reserved for photographing fast-moving but easily replicated things, such as light refracting and traveling through a scene or sound waves traveling through an object.

  • Ken Elliott

    My D800 can shoot at 1/8000 of a second. How do I convert that to Miles per Hour?

    Yeah – the “speed of light” is a unit of measure for velocity, not time.

  • Kallai Iosif Gavril

    The hardware uses an optical shutter to capture consecutive frames at under one-trillionth of a second

    thats 1/1000000000000 seconds . That’s 125000000 times faster than your D800.

  • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

    Or ~17 stops faster :)

  • Ken Elliott

    You missed my point. The headline used the wrong unit of measurement.

    The headline says “Captures Frames at 1/6th the Speed of Light”. OK – that’s 111 769 438 miles per hour. Saying “capture pictures at 111769438 MPH” implies the camera is moving.

  • Kallai Iosif Gavril

    the title is misleading but if you read the whole article it says the camera can capture events occurring as fast as 1/6th the speed of light. I don’t believe the d800 is capable of that.