Researchers at MIT have developed a camera that can visualize light as it travels across a room. The shutter speed of this camera can work at one trillion exposures per second.
The camera has a modified streak tube in which light travels through a narrow slit. A streak tube works by accelerating electrons in a cathode ray tube so they pass through an electric field which deflects them sideways. This allows some of the photons from the beam to arrive earlier than others, creating an electron stream. The camera is able to take a one-dimensional photo of each electron stream of light. To create the slow-motion video, the team had to replicate the experiment hundreds of times and then process the images. While the camera can capture light at a trillion frames per second, processing the images to make a video takes hours. The creators of the technology hope it can be applied to medical imaging, other scientific fields or even consumer uses.
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