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Now You Can Actually *See* Light Moving In Slow Motion

Well, this is the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. Researchers have designed a camera system so fast that it can catch light moving. Bonus: Try rubbing the GIFs.

1. Scientists at MIT have developed a camera system so fast that it lets us watch light move:

2. The system gathers image data at about a trillion frames per second — a normal camera shoots about 30, or 60:

3. Think of it this way: When you turn on a light in a dark room, the light starts in the bulb then moves outward until it reflects off of something. This looks like it happens instantly, but it doesn’t. It just happens at about 670 million miles per hou

4. Einstein, Planck, Faraday, and Maxwell never got to see light move like this. You do. Plus, you can control it with your mouse, like an Internet-God Apollo:

MIT researcher Ramesh Raskar gave a talk explaining how this works and what it means, and it’s definitely worth watching.

In short, his team used hundreds of camera sensors triggered in quick succession to capture pieces of images at a super-high framerate. And because the images came out almost pitch black — fast exposures require more light — the shots were taken over and over again and layered on top of one another until the light became visible. Incredible.

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