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Camera Can Take Images at Speed of Light

Scientists have improved upon a new camera technology that can image at speeds about 100 times faster than today's commercial cameras and could enable imaging of ultrafast processes involving neurons, combustion and stars.

The new technology also opens a host of new possibilities for studying extremely fast processes such as neurons firing, chemical reactions, fuel burning or chemicals exploding.

It will open a new way to study the camera several intense actions. With its help, a fuel-burning process and will enable the study of a chemical action. Lihong V. Washington University. Wang led by scientists who invented the first such camera frame per second speed of 100 billion is able to draw pictures. With its help so that the speed of light is also possible to draw pictures of moving rays.

Its distinguishing characteristic is that it draws the same picture from available light. It does not require laser or other external light. The new technology has enhanced the efficiency and quality of the camera. With its help scientists unravel the activity of neurons in the brains of living creatures are in the effort.

The new method improves the resolution and quality of images captured with CUP.

They demonstrate the CUP upgrades by capturing a movie of a picosecond laser pulse travelling through the air and also by pointing laser light onto a printout of a toy car to create a movie of the light reaching different portions of the car at different times.

Researchers are particularly interested in understanding how the brain's neural networks operate.

Using the new camera with a microscope could allow them to watch neurons fire by capturing extremely fast chemical processes called action potentials that travel through an axon at speeds that can reach more than 100 metres per second.

"We want to use our new camera to study a living animal's neural network in action. This would reveal how the neural network functions, not just how the neurons are connected," Wang said.

The improved image resolution and quality means that the camera could better capture entire action potential events, including the initiation of the action potentials, propagation with varying speeds, and the termination of signalling.

"Biological reactions can occur very fast, faster than standard cameras can image," said Wang.

"When people study events like that now, they use a pump-probe method, which requires them to repeat the event many times," he said.

"Our camera can be used for real-time imaging of a single event, capturing it all in one shot at extremely high speeds," he said.

Since the camera can image with just the light available it could be used with telescopes to record activities of a supernova occurring light years away.

Wang said that the CUP camera could, for example, add high-speed imaging to space telescopes such as the NASA's Hubble Telescope that have high spatial resolution unperturbed by the atmosphere.

The camera would also be very useful for other applications such as imaging explosions.

The study was published in the journal Optica.