light recorded in slow-motion

* Post by Jordan

MIT researchers have hit the motherload, in terms of light capturing camera technology that is. Researchers from MIT Media Lab have created a camera, or rather system of cameras, that capture images at one trillion frames per second. Want to cut to the chase and see what it looks like? Check out the 1:45 mark in the video. You can see the ball of light in slow motion as it travels though an empty pop bottle. Very impressive stuff.

The camera system operates by receiving photons (particles of light) through a tiny narrow slit, passing them through an electrical field, and spitting them out on the other side where they are deflected in a direction perpendicular to the slit. The result is the two dimensional footage seen in the video, which is a representation of the arrival times of photons through a one dimensional slice of space. Brain mushifying. For a more technical explanation, check out an article from MIT News or related coverage from The New York Times.

The video explains that such technology could be very useful in medical imaging and scientific research, but Principle Investigator Ramesh Raskar also believes this technology will make its way into consumer photography and videography. We’ll be waiting.