02 Sep Slow Motion Camera Reaches 10 Trillion Frames a Second
Given the nature of light, capturing it when it is moving has always been a challenge for cameras. It is why camera technology is always evolving, as it ensures better and more flexible capturing of light in different ways.
One such breakthrough has come from Caltech, where scientists have developed a new camera rig that can go as far as 10 trillion frames a second, capturing light in super slow motion. And there are plans for them to go even slower in the future!
To most people who read about super slow motion cameras, it is a fascination purely based on the types of pictures and video they would record. But the scientists at Caltech are not just pursuing this to take cool pictures!
They have practical uses for seeing how light moves when they can get it to such slow motion. The applications are endless in fields such as engineering, medicine and physics.
Capturing Light in Slow Motion
Many readers may have heard about cameras that were advertising being billion or trillion FPS. But the truth is that many of those cameras were using streak cameras and other tricks to achieve such results.
Those cameras would capture the pulse of light and then send out one every millisecond to offset the capture time of the camera. And it would produce interesting results, but only if you know where the light is going.
When scientists want to study the light in slow motion through its entire path, a different type of camera is needed. And that is what this camera from Caltech achieves. It takes a streak camera and combines it with a static camera.
The result is images that are captured 100 femtoseconds apart from each other – or ten trillion per second! It is an unprecedented level of precision in looking at how light travels in slow motion. And the team is hoping their next camera can capture it 100 times a slower speed!