Reserachers at Lund Univeristy in Sweden have developed a camera that captures images at a rate equivalent to 5 trillion frames per second, quintupling the previous high mark.
To illustrate the technology, the researchers have successfully filmed how light – a collection of photons – travels a distance corresponding to the thickness of a paper. In reality, it only takes a picosecond, but on film the process has been slowed down by a trillion times.
Currently, high-speed cameras capture images one by one in a sequence. The new technology is based on an innovative algorithm, and instead captures several coded images in one picture. It then sorts them into a video sequence afterwards.
In short, the method involves exposing what you are filming (for example a chemical reaction) to light in the form of laser flashes where each light pulse is given a unique code. The object reflects the light flashes which merge into the single photograph. They are subsequently separated using an encryption key.