One Trillion Frames Per Second: The Science of Capturing Light in Motion

Ramesh Raskar joined the MIT Media Lab in 2008, where he heads up the Lab’s Cam­era Cul­ture research group. For some time, the researcher has drawn inspi­ra­tion from anoth­er MIT pro­fes­sor, Harold Edger­ton, a pio­neer of stop-action pho­tog­ra­phy, who famous­ly pho­tographed a bul­let mov­ing through an apple in 1964. Decades lat­er, Raskar and his MIT crew have tak­en pho­tog­ra­phy to a new lev­el, cre­at­ing imag­ing hard­ware and soft­ware that can cap­ture light as it moves. They can visu­al­ize pic­tures as if they were record­ed at a rate of one tril­lion frames per sec­ond. His cut­ting edge work in fem­to-pho­tog­ra­phy is all on dis­play above.

If you want to get deep­er into Raskar’s world, you can check out his free MIT course, Com­pu­ta­tion­al Cam­era and Pho­tog­ra­phy, which is locat­ed in the Com­put­er Science/Artificial Intel­li­gence sec­tion of our col­lec­tion of Free Online Cours­es.

via Roger Ebert

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Comments (3)
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  • A tril­lion frames a sec­ond. Observ­ing light in motion, see­ing around cor­ners! Mind bog­gling tech­nol­o­gy, and great promise for the future.

  • Sam Turner says:

    My the­o­ry was derived from watch­ing nature. I won­dered why, when I see an ant fall so fast, it takes no dam­age when falling from a great height. I realised that per­haps, due to Ein­stein’s the­o­ries of light = mat­ter, we absorb not only light, but all per­cep­tion and real­i­ty, each moment, dif­fer­ent­ly depen­dent on our grav­i­ta­tion­al influ­ence = size!!
    So the ant, sees us move slow­er than we see our­selves move, it sees itself move slow­er than we see it move, and we see it faster than it sees itself!!
    rogerthat155 in reply to rogerthat155 (Show the com­ment) 1 sec­ond ago
    Then I won­dered, if the same hap­pened in the realms of gar­gan­tu­al­ly large, and sub­atom­i­cal­ly small, if so, there are enor­mous beings and enti­ties that we are see­ing in ULTRA slow motion, the inner work­ings of, appear­ing to us as stars and this explo­sion, and retract­ing of the uni­verse (sped up may appear to be a ball? An atom, or elec­tron, or small­er?) and ENTIRE UNIVERSES exist­ing at super­speed right before our eyes!!!!
    Please!! Apply this tech to a micro­scope!!!!
    rogerthat155 in reply to rogerthat155 (Show the com­ment) 1 sec­ond ago

  • Chen says:

    Sam Turn­er — So forces are rel­a­tive to our per­cep­tion?? Wow! I nev­er thought about it like that… Very enlight­en­ing, thank you!

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