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



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)