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.”