Scientists from Lund University, Sweden have created a camera that is able to capture five trillion frames per second, fast enough, they say, to capture the movement of light itself.
The researchers exposed a subject with quick flickers of laser light which were then reflected back by the subject. The beats were given individual algorithms. The image algorithms joined together to create one picture and a short video.
Video: Movement of light in femtoseconds – one millionth of a billionth of a second – across the equivalent distance of a thickness of paper.
The camera took four images per frame. Using this method and a series of mirrors and lenses the scientists captured film 0.2 trillionths of a second long. This is fast enough to capture the movement of light itself.
“Today, the only way to visualise such rapid events is to photograph still images of the process, you then have to attempt to repeat identical experiments to provide several still images which can later be edited into a movie. The problem with this approach is that it is highly unlikely that a process will be identical if you repeat the experiment,” said Elias Kristensson, a co-author of the study.
Previously the fastest recorded camera came from the University of Tokyo, only 4.4 trillion frames per second.