Caltech develops new ultrafast camera capable of taking 70 trillion pictures per second.

  • Caltech’s new camera is fast enough to see waves of light traveling and the fluorescent decay of molecules.
  • The camera was developed in the lab of Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering in the Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering.
  • The technology is termed “compressed ultrafast spectral photography” (CUSP).
  • The camera uses a laser that emits extremely short pulses of laser light that last only one quadrillionth of a second (one femtosecond), and a specialized type of camera. The optics break up individual femtosecond pulses of laser light into even shorter pulses, each of which is capable of producing an image in the camera.
  • “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.”
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