Your Puny 1,000 FPS "Super" Slow Motion Is Nothing Compared to MIT's One Trillion FPS Camera

By Sam Gibbs on at

What you're seeing above is a slow motion capture of light propagating across a piece of fruit. I would call it "super slowmo", but honestly, at one trillion frames a second, "super" just doesn't seem to capture it.

MIT's Media Lab has coined the term femto-photography to describe the system. The camera uses a pulse from a laser for a flash, which lasts for a trillionth of a second and is captured by the image sensor. The vertical field of view is tiny, so the camera uses repeat sampling to create the final images, with the titanium sapphire laser able to emit pulses every 13 nanoseconds. The boffins use a series of mirrors to capture different horizontal slices of the scene, stitching them together to build movies, which you can see above and below.

While it's not going to be put into use in the next F1 season or Wimbledon, this incredible frame rate should help out scientists attempting to capture the minutiae of nanosecond experiments. I can't imagine how much data that camera outputs though -- they must have an absolutely enormous and lightning fast storage array hooked up to that thing. Now if only I could just pinch it for my next trip to Silverstone, I might finally be able to see a thin sliver of the driver's face as he hurtles past at 200MPH. [MIT via SlashGear]