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World's Fastest Camera Captures 4.4 Trillion Frames Per Second

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  • Some details (Score:5, Informative)

    by JerryLove (1158461) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @08:08PM (#47674601)

    First FTA: There's a mention of a previous camera...
    "Back in 2011, researchers from MIT created a high-speed camera that captured light passing through an empty bottle in slow motion by acquiring visual data at one trillion frames a second – to the STAMP cam, more than four times faster than this, even the speed of light could be as stimulating as watching paint dry."

    That's misleading. The camera in 2011 didn't do amazingly high FPS capture. What it did have was very short capture with precise timing. That video of a laser moving through a bottle was actually thousands of successive laser shots. More like stop-motion than video.

    Now this camera I see fewer details on. I do see that one thing it seems to do is to divide a laser with a prism and use the separation to make virtual frames by using different receptors.

    Let me make an analogy. If you took a normal RGB color sensor from a camera, and exposed it, and during that exposure you fired a red flash, then a green flash than a blue flash one after the other. Take your resulting picture and break it into three by color and you have 3 "frames". They appear to be doing this with a large number of wavelengths.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday August 14, 2014 @09:16PM (#47674905)

    (On a more serious note though, how on Earth do they manage to store even a few microseconds of the footage from this beast?)

    They don't. From the full paper:

    In our proof-of-principle demonstration, the total number of frames was limited to six due to our simple embodiment of the SMD (Supplementary Figs 3 and 4), but can be increased up to 100 by increasing the number of periscopes in the periscope array of the SMD or by using a more complex design (see Methods and Supplementary Section ‘Improvements in STAMP's specifications’)

    You can't just record an indefinite length movie with this thing, you basically need to alter the hardware to record longer segments (since it has different physical elements detect different frames of the signal).

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

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