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MIT Shows Trillion-Frames-per-Second Video

The novel camera takes pictures at a rate of one trillion frames per second. In an example, the MIT researchers showed light moving through a soda bottle.

To create the movie, the $250,000 camera system as well as the laser emitting the photons produce "hundreds of thousands" of data sets that provide information about the positions of photons as well as their times of arrival. The data is then stitched together to create a movie that expands a process that takes only about 1 nanosecond in real time, but is stretched to about six seconds in the slow-mo. The effort of repetitive picture taking and combining them into a video takes about one hour, the researchers said.

The intriguing part of the invention may be two-fold: Scientists working with light could get a much better opportunity to monitor photons. However, the MIT researchers also said that the ultra-slow motion technology will make its way to the consumer at some point.

  • ik242
    interesting, even if same method is actually used in DAQ when sampling fast signals for quite some time. many digital oscilloscopes do the same (sample same signal using different ADCs that are sampled with slight delay, then data is stitched together and displayed).
  • JeTJL
    Wonder what they are using to render the 6 second movie.
  • teodoreh
    Life is good...
  • alyoshka
    The applications of this may be unlimited, but the price is way beyond.
  • theuniquegamer
    This is useless in case of making movies because our eyes can't detect the difference after 60fps or so. But it may be used to make the coolest super ultra slow videos of the fastest processes in the world.
  • jecastej
    theuniquegamerThis is useless in case of making movies because our eyes can't detect the difference after 60fps or so. But it may be used to make the coolest super ultra slow videos of the fastest processes in the world.
    In general I agree with your comment. But for very fast moving objects or cameras on video even 240 fps could make a enjoyable difference we can perceive. However it will pale in comparison to a trillion fps, so your comment is still good by a solid margin. After 240 fps i am not sure if we could have another useless "fps" marketing war from monitor and tv makers similar to the dynamic contrast ratio.

    As for slow motion I think Hollywood could still find ways to produce some effects with a camera like this, even if this technology is used as a way to sale movies.
  • kristoffe
    @theuniquegamer, it is made for analysis of physical phenomenon and volumes, etc. It isn't made for slow motion neo effects, but the sky is the limit using 1T scans that are broken up into scanline compositions. Imagine something an pop, there's a new idea. The scientist was just throwing ideas out there, some pretty good ones too especially for 3-8 seconds snippets of an interview.
  • Boy do those two sound clever!

    This is seriously awesome work, MIT does have some of the brightest minds on Earth!

    I can see where this will go, especially in the Medical World as he says, I think this will be the first point of call.

  • belardo
    This technology is not about gaming / fps. Geez! Its the ability to ACTUALLY see light **move**. Light is not instant, but its very very fast - faster than the fastest rocket will ever get.

    This could open to the door to other types of tech that could use light. Think back to the the 1970s with the first LED dispay used on huge calculators (way bigger than our phones) - then about 1980, the LCD display which was only black on a silver surface (I actually have mine handy - its quite dead) for history reasons. Fast forward 30 years and we have TVs that combine LCD and LED technology to make killer 62" 3D TVs.

    For scientist, this is about being able to observe - and from there who knows. Maybe we'll have our light-sabers for cutting butter.
  • warezme
    Since light behaves as a wave and particle and creates interference patterns when shot through two parallel pinholes with some odd quantum behavior thrown in, could this then be observed with this method of video capture? It would be interesting to see.