The device can track the movement of individual packets of light, or photons, so fast that you can visualize the propagation of light.
“We have built a virtual slow motion camera where we can see photons, or light particles through space,” says Associate Professor Ramesh Raskar in an interview.
“Photons travel about a million times photons travel a million times faster than bullets. So our camera can see photons, or bullets of light traveling through space.”
In order to perform the experiment, the scientists used a streak camera, which is normally used to measure the intensity and duration of light.
By modifying the equipment, the researchers managed to create slow-motion movies.
The technique used cameras and mirrors to build these slow motion clips that track the lights movement across a scene. A laser pulse was shut as a flash and the light was recorded at about 1 trillion FPS.
The experiment thus had to be replicated hundreds of times.
The technology can be applied in medical imaging, materials science, as well as chemical analysis.