‘Ultrafast’ Camera Can Film 3-D Movies at 100 Billion Frames per Second

By: | October 17th, 2020

The camera has ‘two channels’ that ‘mimic our eyes,’ said Wang. Source: Lihon Wang / Caltech

In big breakthrough researchers at The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a camera capable of capturing ultrafast video in three dimensions. It can shoot videos at up to 100 billion frames in the time it takes us to blink our eyes. Researchers foresee this technology may help solve some scientific mysteries.

Caltech’s Researcher Lihon Wang had previously developed a technology that can reach a speed of 70 trillion frames per second. It was fast enough to see even the movement of light. But it could not produce 3D images. It could only produce flat images like a camera on a cell phone.

Now, Wang’s team has developed technology to produce 3D images while maintaining incredibly fast speeds. This new 3D camera uses “single-shot stereo-polarimetric compressed ultrafast photography” (SP-CUP) to take 100 billion pictures per second. In simple words, it is that fast that it can snap 10 billion pictures (more than the global population of humans) in just one second. For comparison, the average smartphone is limited to just 60 frames per second.

“Some people consider this one of that greatest mysteries in physics,” Wang said. “When a bubble collapses, its interior reaches such a high temperature that it generates light. The process that makes this happen is very mysterious because it all happens so fast, and we’re wondering if our camera can help us figure it out.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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