Blazingly-Fast Camera Can Capture Light as it Travels


A brand new camera developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology can photograph a trillion frames per second. Compare that with a conventional film camera which takes a mere 24. This new development in photographic technology has given scientists the power to photograph the motion of the fastest thing in the Universe, light. In the video below, you’ll see experimental footage of light photons traveling at approximately 965 million-kilometers-per-hour (that’s roughly 600 million mph) through water. The actual event occurred in a mere nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it all the way down to twenty seconds. For some perspective, according to New York Times author, John Markoff, “If a bullet had been tracked in the identical fashion moving through the same fluid, the ensuing film would last 3 years.”

It’s not possible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each picture. The method has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project at MIT, “There’s nothing within the universe that looks fast to this camera.”

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