This new camera technology could snap 70 trillion images per second

The new photography technology can help scientists to capture wave propagation, nuclear fusion, photon transport in clouds and biological tissues, and fluorescent decay of biomolecules

Since its inception, the world of photography has improved so much from every aspect. But when it comes to speed photography, there is always some room to improve. Even though the modern cameras appear with significant burst speed (or continuous speed), many areas in medical science and other fields require some more speed.

As an act of delight, Lihong V Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering at California Institute of Technology has invented the camera which can capture 70 trillion images in a second. At such a lighting speed, a camera can capture anything like light travel, transparent molecules and many other things.

Camera is an upgrade to Wong's previous invention

Representational image- camera lens
Representational image - Broadcast lens Photo mix, Pixabay

The camera is an upgrade to Wong's previous invention in January 2020, when he designed a camera capable of capturing one trillion frames per second. However, the previous camera was based on a technology called phase-sensitive compressed ultrafast photography or pCUP. In contrast, the latest technology has been named as compressed ultrafast spectral photography or CUSP.

CUSP technology involves a laser beam which is capable of generating very short pulses of laser light. The frequency of this laser light is one femtosecond or one quadrillionth of a second. And with every pulse of light, the camera optics captures an image.

In a previous interview with Phys.Org, Professor Wang explained the CUSP technology is a combination of high-speed photography and phase-contrast microscopy. For the uninitiated, phase-contrast microscopy is a technology which lets researchers capture translucent materials.

"We envision applications in a rich variety of extremely fast phenomena, such as ultrashort light propagation, wave propagation, nuclear fusion, photon transport in clouds and biological tissues, and fluorescent decay of biomolecules, among other things," Wang asserted. He has also explained that the invention would come immensely handy for the physics, chemistry and biological research.

Along with co-author Peng Wang, a postdoctoral scholar in medical engineering, and Jinyang Liang, a researcher at National Institute of Scientific Research in Quebec, professor Wang has described the technology via a paper called "Single-shot ultrafast imaging attaining 70 trillion frames per second," in the Caltech's Nature Communications.