Japanese universities develop new world's fastest camera

August 11, 2014 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report

Schematic of STAMP. Credit: (c) Nature Photonics (2014) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2014.163
(Phys.org) —Researchers working at two universities in Japan have jointly developed what is being described as the world's fastest camera. A photo-device with a frame interval of 4.4 trillion frames per second. In their paper published in the journal Nature Photonics, the team describes how their camera works, its capabilities and the extensive work that went into its creation.

High speed cameras allow researchers and everyday people alike the ability to see things that they wouldn't be able to otherwise, from slowdown of sports play to mechanical processes. Prior to the announcement in Japan, the fastest cameras relied on what's known as a pump-probe process—where light is "pumped" at an object to be photographed, and then "probed" for absorption. The main drawback to such an approach is that it requires repetitive measurements to construct an image. The new is motion-based femtophotography, performing single-shot bursts for image acquisition, which means it has no need for repetitive measurements. It works via optical mapping of an object's spatial profile which varies over time. Its abilities make it 1000 times as fast as cameras it supersedes. In addition to the extremely high frame rate, the camera also has a high pixel resolution (450 × 450).

Developed by a joint team of researchers from Keio University and the University of Tokyo, the camera is set to capture images of things and events that until now have not been impossible. With technology the team has named Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography, or STAMP for short, the camera is poised to be used to capture chemical reactions, lattice vibrational waves, plasma dynamics, even heat conduction, which the researchers note occurs at approximately a sixth the speed that light travels.

The joint team has been working on development of the camera over the course of three years—plans call for continued development—the team would like to make the camera smaller (currently it's about a square meter) to allow for use in more applications. They also believe the camera could be used in a wide variety of fields, in both the public and private sectors. Some examples would be laser processes used for making big items like car parts, or in tiny applications such as the creation of semiconductros. A would allow researchers to actually see what is going on as the laser does its work. They also expect the camera to be useful in the medical field.

Explore further: Creative Cameras exhibit explores light-in-flight imaging

More information: Sequentially timed all-optical mapping photography (STAMP), Nature Photonics (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.163

Abstract
High-speed photography is a powerful tool for studying fast dynamics in photochemistry, spintronics, phononics, fluidics and plasma physics. Currently, the pump–probe method is the gold standard for time-resolved imaging, but it requires repetitive measurements for image construction and therefore falls short in probing non-repetitive or difficult-to-reproduce events. Here, we present a motion-picture camera that performs single-shot burst image acquisition without the need for repetitive measurements, yet with equally short frame intervals (4.4 trillion frames per second) and high pixel resolution (450 × 450 pixels). The principle of this method—'motion picture femtophotography'—is all-optical mapping of the target's time-varying spatial profile onto a burst stream of sequentially timed photographs with spatial and temporal dispersion. To show the camera's broad utility we use it to capture plasma dynamics and lattice vibrational waves, both of which were previously difficult to observe with conventional methods in a single shot and in real time.

Related Stories

Creative Cameras exhibit explores light-in-flight imaging

July 6, 2014

The Creative Cameras exhibition team from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Glasgow are asking some interesting questions. How do you take images so fast that you can see light travelling through air? How do you ...

Recommended for you

Sculpting stable structures in pure liquids

February 21, 2019

Oscillating flow and light pulses can be used to create reconfigurable architecture in liquid crystals. Materials scientists can carefully engineer concerted microfluidic flows and localized optothermal fields to achieve ...

How to freeze heat conduction

February 21, 2019

Physicists have discovered a new effect, which makes it possible to create excellent thermal insulators which conduct electricity. Such materials can be used to convert waste heat into electrical energy.

Water is more homogeneous than expected

February 21, 2019

In order to explain the known anomalies in water, some researchers assume that water consists of a mixture of two phases, even under ambient conditions. However, new X-ray spectroscopic analyses at BESSY II, ESRF and Swiss ...

Correlated nucleons may solve 35-year-old mystery

February 20, 2019

A careful re-analysis of data taken at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has revealed a possible link between correlated protons and neutrons in the nucleus and a 35-year-old mystery. ...

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

El_Nose
5 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2014
the pedantic guy on my shoulder wouldn't let me let this go

the camera is set to capture images of things and events that until now have not been impossible
Rosser
5 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
Third paragraph, third line, I believe the word should be possible, not impossible.
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
From the article - "...the camera is set to capture images of things and events that until now have not been impossible..."
Dang, you guys beat me to it...
antigoracle
5 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2014
Makes complete sense. Before it was impossible now it is not impossible.
Can't imagine how the porn industry would use this camera though.
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
Can't imagine how the porn industry would use this camera though.

AntiG,
Necessity is the mother of invention...
and invention is the Mother of Porn..
sirchick
5 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2014
the pedantic guy on my shoulder wouldn't let me let this go

the camera is set to capture images of things and events that until now have not been impossible


The no shit Sherlock guy on my other shoulder would not let it go either, if they had put the word "possible" ..

So either way I was in trouble :P
Mike_Massen
not rated yet Aug 14, 2014
Looks promising, hope its not a flash in the pan...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.