The world’s fastest camera captures 156.3 trillion frames per second
Sciences et technologies

The world’s fastest camera captures 156.3 trillion frames per second

fast camera
Illustrative image – Triff / Shutterstock.com

Engineers at the INRS Telecommunications Research Center Énergie Matériaux in Canada have unveiled the world’s fastest camera, capable of capturing more than 156,000 billion images per second.


SCARF system

Although the most efficient smartphones are cameras professional cameras allow you to shoot at speeds of several hundreds and thousands of images per second, respectively, a new device called SCARF (real-time femtophotography with encoded and swinging aperture), is capable of capturing events occurring on the scale of femtoseconds (i.e. millionth of a billionth of a second).


To achieve this goal, it emits a pulse. laser ultra-short, which scans the “scene” or object to be imaged. If you think of light as a rainbow, the wavelengths in the red region come first, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The event happens very quickly, these tiny shifts allow it to be “captured”. “in the smallest detail.


The light pulse then passes through a series of components that focus, reflect, diffract and encode it before reaching the charge-coupled device camera sensor. These are then converted into data that can be combined by a computer to form the final image.


Illustrative image – Doug McLean / Shutterstock.com

Wide range of applications

According to its creators, whose works are published in the magazine Natural communicationsTraditional capture methods only work with completely inert objects or phenomena that are reproduced the same way every time.


SCARF technology can find applications in many fields, including physics, biology, chemistry, materials science and engineering.


Jinyang Liang and his colleagues note, in particular, the possibility of detailing the behavior of plasma and high-energy particles, observing turbulence or shock waves moving in matter or living cells, and unraveling the mysteries of optics phenomena that are still mysterious.

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