Researchers at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) has developed a new camera called the T-CUP, that is supposed to be the world’s fastest camera because it can capture as many as ten trillion (10 to the power of 13) frames per second. Although ultra-fast cameras have been developed over the past few years, T-CUP leaves them all in the dust. This means that it has the capability to freeze time and even light.

Researchers at INRS (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique) led by Caltech’s Lihong Wang, have developed the T-CUP.

2014 was the last time when we heard that a team of biomedical engineers developed a camera that could capture events up to 100 billion frames per second. Even then, it was Lihong Wang, who was the professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis at the time. “For the first time, humans can see light pulses on the fly.”

But this wasn’t enough, in 2018 Professor Wang wanted more. And in 2018 he created the fastest camera ever. This camera can now be used to record images in real time at a very short temporal resolution—in a single exposure. It will be very useful for scientists in many different fields and open up doors to probe things like the nanoscale interactions between light and matter.

Can freeze time along with clear images.

The new high-speed camera, can literally freeze time and makes it possible to see incredibly rapid processes even light in extremely slow motion.

The team at INRS built the camera to be able to capture events on film that operate at the femtosecond range. This means it will have very useful applications for capturing slow-motion imaging of things like laser pulses.

In the previous years, many phenomena in chemistry, physics and biology have not been captured before. In order to observe them, a camera requires a way to record images in real time at a very short temporal resolution. The T-CUP camera currently proves to be the best with fast and sensitive features.

According to Professor Lihong Wang, “We knew that by using only a femtosecond streak camera, the image quality would be limited, So to improve this, we added another camera that acquires a static image. Combined with the image acquired by the femtosecond streak camera, we can use what is called a Radon transformation to obtain high-quality images while recording ten trillion frames per second.”

T-CUP has now been used to set the world record for real-time imaging speed.

The existing lasers at INRS produce ultrashort pulses of light that were, previously, far too quick to capture with existing imaging techniques. But not anymore. Of course, some measurements have been possible previously but “nothing beats a clear image” says INRS Professor and ultrafast imaging specialist Jinyang Liang.

The First Results.

World's fastest camera T-CUP results
Real-time imaging of temporal focusing of a femtosecond laser pulse at 2.5 Tfps. Source: INRS

The first time it was used, the ultrafast camera broke new ground by capturing the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse in real time. This process was recorded in 25 frames taken at an interval of 400 femtoseconds and detailed the light pulse’s shape, intensity, and angle of inclination. It was able to show the level of accuracy in the light pulses shape over time and revealed the laser’s intensity and angle of inclination in much better detail than ever before.

According to Jinyang Liang, the leading author of this work”It’s an achievement in itself, But we already see possibilities for increasing the speed to up to one quadrillion frames per second!”

Source: Institut national de la recherche scientifique – INRS

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