1 Trillion Frames per Second

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Light is the fastest thing we currently know about.  It travels at 6.7 times 10 to the 8 miles per hour.  That’s fast.  Wicked fast.  Researchers at MIT have come up with a  hardware and software camera that can record at 1 trillion frames per second.  By firing a laser for less than a trillionth of a second, they are able to watch the light travel over time and illuminate objects.

The still life photograph was nice, but I really like the coke bottle one.  One of the interesting side effects of this is because of the hyper speed of the camera, the distance the photons of light have to travel relative to the camera sensor is important.  You see this towards the end with the colorized wave image of the coke bottle.  That’s where the software comes in.  They have to modify the resulting image so that the waves are in the right order chronologically.

Pretty neat.  One of the few TED talks I’ve been able to make it through all the way (partly because it’s only 10 minutes) and understand everything they said in.  You should watch it.

{F/Stoppers|MIT}

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