Light in Slow Motion

Tuesday September 04, 2012 Written by luke

At 1,000,000,000,000 frames per second, a camera would be capable of tracking the passage of a single packet of light. Thanks to Ramesh Raskar and his team at MIT, we now possess this technology.

In this TED talk, Ramesh shows off his "femto-camera", a camera capable of rendering a frame once every femtosecond (one trillionth of a second), as it captures a beam of light passing through a Coke bottle. To put it in perspective, for a bullet to go the same distance at this frame rate would take over a year. The implications are profound, from imaging without x-rays to being able to see around corners, but even at this early stage to be able to see light – the very limit of speed in this universe – actually flow and scatter like waves in water is worth the price of admission alone. Astounding.