Camera system catches speed of light

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mitcokebottle e1323810827867 Camera system catches speed of light

A team from MIT developed a system of cameras that captures the speed of light. (Credit: Camera Culture Group, MIT Media Lab)


By Doug Gross, CNN

CAMBRIDGE – A trillion exposures per second sounds amazingly fast. But that capacity is what you need in a camera if you’re going to capture images of the speed of light.

A team of MIT researchers say they’ve created a revolutionary camera system that can, literally, render the speed of light in slow motion.

“There’s nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera,” said Andreas Velten, a post-doctoral researcher who called the system the “ultimate” version of slow motion.

The imaging system relies on creative use of a streak camera – a tool used for measuring light’s intensity. The team set up a series of 500 sensors, each programmed to go off one-trillionth of a second after the last.

The result, shown in a video on MIT’s site, makes a laser-generated bolt of light appear as if it were moving slowly through a clear soda bottle.

Read the full article at CNN’s What’s Next blog.

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