World’s fastest camera shoots images consecutively in less than one trillionth of a second (so fast that light only travels 0.3mm)

Even the fastest fighter jet would seem like it has stopped. Where will this be used?

Naoki Yoshioka
Naoki Yoshioka

XAMOSCHi Chief Editor

Establisher of tempo, Inc. a web production company. Naoki has been in the web industry ever since he established the company in 2000. He specializes in tech, culture and also loves international movies and literature. Naoki is also keen on studying old Japanese material arts (Sousuishiryu-Kumiuchi-Koshinomawari: Seirenkan and Aikido: Aikikai) and continues his training until today.

According to the experiment, the camera takes 4.37 trillion frames per second. Even light can only travel 0.3mm in that kind of speed. Don’t you want to know how this is done, especially if you are into cameras? This is quite interesting.



  1. First an ultrashort pulse is emitted.
  2. Then the pulse is stretched, and split into different wavelength.
  3. The pulse is spectrally shaped and made into a pulse line.
  4. The pulse line are projected on the target.
  5. The image encoded pulse line are mapped to the spatial profile of the target to the image sensor.
  6. The data recorded by the image sensor are digitally processed on the computer to reconstruct a movie.


What do you think? The current high-speed camera uses a method where light is “pumped” at the subject and then “probed” for absorption. This has the speed limit of the pulse light. Therefore the new method splits the light into different wavelength and uses the time difference of the wavelength as the camera’s optical shutter. Basically the different wavelength is used like a film frame. How interesting! But this means that the photo is only one color…
By using this method, it holds great promise in terms of practical utility for studying and optimizing a diverse range of complex dynamical processes in photochemistry, plasma physics, condensed matter physics (such as movement of heat, spin and light through materials), semiconductor physics, and ultrasound therapy. We can see more of the world that we have never seen! Let’s wait for more results!




Translated by Yuki Mat


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