This new camera is around 1,000 times faster than any other camera in the world, and is powered by a brand new technique for capturing images, known as Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography, or STAMP.
The former fastest cameras in the world create images via the so-called 'pump-probe process', in which light is ‘pumped' at the object it's photographing, and then ‘probed' for absorption. But this new camera has employed the STAMP technique, which works by shooting ultra-fast, single-shot bursts of light at an object to capture its image. This process is so much faster and more efficient because it can map an object over time very quickly, therefore skipping the repetitive measures that the pump-probe process relies on to create its images.
"The STAMP has been proposed to improve the study of chemical reactions and heat conduction, which travels around six times slower than the speed of light,” says Chris Higgins at Wired UK. "The teams, split between Keio University and the University of Tokyo, have been working on a STAMP camera for the past three years, and hope to continue to do so now that their findings have been made public.”
The researchers describe their technology in the journal Nature Photonics, and are now working on scaling it down to prepare it for the commercial market. They hope to see it used in several medical applications, and to study fast dynamics in photochemistry, phononics, and plasma physics.