I am sure you are aware ultra slow motion cameras – the ones that are used in cricket matches to show those super slow motion videos (of run-outs, cricket shots etc). Those are sophisticated video cameras that shoot at over 1000 Frames per second (FPS) and can capture details that are hardly visible to human eye – There are some even more sophisticated video camera’s that shoot at about 1 million FPS and can capture shots of high-speed bullets piercing the wall in vivid detail.
And now a group of scientists in MIT have created something un-imaginable – A video camera that can shoot trillion frames per second, yes..that’s right – Trillion Frames per second camera. This camera is so fast that it can produce a slow-motion video of a burst of light traveling the length of a one-liter bottle, bouncing off the cap and reflecting back to the bottle’s bottom.
And, there is a Indian connection to this invention- The super high-speed camera was developed by Indian Associate Professor Mr. Ramesh Raskar’s Camera Culture group at the MIT’s Media Lab.
Now, I am not a expert in this field to understand how they have achieved it – Here is what they have put out in a blog post & a video, that explains how this has been achieved by them
The system relies on a recent technology called a streak camera, deployed in a totally unexpected way. The aperture of the streak camera is a narrow slit. Particles of light — photons — enter the camera through the slit and are converted into electrons, which pass through an electric field that deflects them in a direction perpendicular to the slit. Because the electric field is changing very rapidly, it deflects the electrons corresponding to late-arriving photons more than it does those corresponding to early arriving ones.
The image produced by the camera is thus two-dimensional, but only one of the dimensions — the one corresponding to the direction of the slit — is spatial. The other dimension, corresponding to the degree of deflection, is time. The image thus represents the time of arrival of photons passing through a one-dimensional slice of space.
I did not understand it, but the video released by them embedded below will shed more light on it:
Talking about Mr. Ramesh Raskar specifically – He was news recently for another very useful invention – The Eye Netra – A cheap device that enables checking of eyes using a smartphone!