Capturing Light at 1 Trillion Frames Per Second – Femto Photography

Ramesh Raskar, at MIT, has developed a camera that can “shoot” 1,000,000,000,000 frames per second.  At this speed he is  able to capture the movement of light in slow motion video.  In 1 trillionth of a second, several femtos seconds, the camera is able to capture light barely 1 millimeter wide.  Light is traveling so fast, it is traveling 1 million times faster than the speed of a bullet.

The whole event of light traveling through the Coke bottle took less than one nano second.   The video is slowed down by a factor of 10 billion to see the light in motion.  If you took an ordinary bullet and captured it on video, it would take one year to watch it travel the same distance.

Applications for Femto Photography extend to taking pictures around corners, “looking” in through building’s windows to see things not visible at current angles or see inside our bodies without using X-rays.



Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach


About jw60sea

Jim Caldwell has over 26 years of experience in the public safety sector in occupations ranging from professional ski patrol, and ocean lifeguard to firefighter. Jim has worked for the Redondo Beach Fire Department for the last 22 years holding successively higher positions of responsibility. For the last six years, Jim has held the rank of Engineer with responsibility for driving and operating the Department’s Engines and Tillered Aerial Ladder Truck. Throughout his career, he has shown a dedication not only to public safety but also community service.
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