High-speed cameras are nothing new, but most aren’t fast enough to capture light bouncing off mirrors, that is unless…you’re talking about the MegaX. Researcher Edoardo Charbon at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne demonstrated just how fast this new camera actually is by capturing this phenomenon at a blistering 24,000 frames a second. Read more for a video and additional information.
Charbon’s student Kazuhiro Morimoto used the MegaX camera, which sports a single-photon avalanche diode-based image sensor, to film the light bouncing off a custom mirror setup. This isn’t as simple as it sounds because light isn’t typically visible when in flight, so the researchers had to focus on the photons from a laser pulse as they scatter off particles in the air.
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The camera operates in gated mode, [meaning] a very fast electronic shutter of 3.8 nanoseconds is used to capture the light as it propagates. Subsequent laser pulses are used, opening the shutter with increasing delay, so as to follow the propagation along its path. Thanks to the large number of pixels and the fast shutter, one can see the light propagation in multiple shots without moving the camera and without superposing the images to images taken with other cameras. Everything is done on MegaX,” Charbon told Digital Trends.