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back to article Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Japanese boffins have invented a way to shoot video at 4.4 trillion frames per second. You read that right. 4.4 trillion. As in a million times a million, or 1012. The camera uses a technique called “Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography” that, as explained in Nature Photonics, uses “all-optical mapping of the …

Huh?

The reason you can't watch grass grow is because it happens very slowly. 4 trillion frames per second would just make it appear to be slower, right? You could watch grass grow if the camera went -slower- not -faster- if I'm not mistaken. Huh?

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WTF?

Re: Huh?

No, you're not mistaken. But you're the one who mentioned watching grass grow.

I'd call my lawyer but he's busy talking nonsense about Wookies living on Endor.

Damn it! ... He's using the Chewbacca defense!

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Re: Huh?

Huge apologies to Uncle Ron, I just saw an earlier version of this article with the original El-Reg sub-headline intact.

Clearly not worked out the difference between Humming birds and growing grass. Or drying paint.

I'd copy/paste it but it's an image. It's on their Facebook feed if you want to check it out!

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Coffee/keyboard

low resolution???

Near-VGA at 4.4TFPS is pretty frickin' amazing. You can pick up an awful lot of information at that resolution. Just as some comparisons, a mobile phone @120fps is lucky to be running at 720p, and VGA depth images from stereo are around 30fps on a workstation.

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Re: low resolution???

My phone (Sony Z2) does 120fps at 1080p just fine. :P

Its a complete gimmick, but it does actually work well and the quality is very very good.

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Unhappy

Re: My phone (Sony Z2) does 120fps at 1080p just fine. :P

It won't after the next firmware update.

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Re: low resolution???

"VGA depth images from stereo are around 30fps on a workstation."

A little out of date we were using 45 fps at 1280x1024 in stereo 10 years ago. Mind the graphics card cost the same as the workstation.

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We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

4.4x1012 x 0.2mb = roughly 1 billion gigabytes per second.

Forget the camera, how is that kind of bandwidth possibly handled? They must be taking extremely short movies.

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Re: We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

"They must be taking extremely short movies."

Well, very long movies of things that happen extremely fast.

Playing back 4.4 trillion frames per second at theatre standard 32 frames per second would take... <fiddles with calculator> a damned long time!

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Re: We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

How long before this technology is used to film cats?

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Re: We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

25 fps I think for cinema films... and at that rate, it's about 5800 years to watch one second of captured footage.

Imagine The Matrix bullet time at THAT speed ><

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Re: We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

The Matrix bullet time effect of appearing to pause time while a pan occurs is not dependent on frame rate, it utilizes multiple cameras all taking a frame at the same time and can be done with a stills camera.

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Re: We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

>how is that kind of bandwidth possibly handled?

I imagine frame to frame compression would be amazingly effective at that frame rate.

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Re: We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

But that takes time you don't have. Last I checked, we don't have image processing ICs capable of running in the Terahertz range yet, and this may well requires something operating in petahertz to be able to process images in realtime in trillionths of a second. Anything less than realtime and you have to deal with storage and transfer bandwidth between the camera and storage AND the storage and the processor.

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Joke

Oh I dunno

we might be able to observe the time between election and breaking first promise

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh I dunno

No chance!

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Anonymous Coward

Speed of light

My rough calculations show that light only moves 0.07mm per frame when this thing is going flat out.

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Joke

Re: Speed of light

They've been using this camera in Hollywood for years to shoot all those laser weapon scenes.

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Re: Speed of light

or 700 thousand Angstroms. Things that happen fast tend to be small.

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Pint

Re: Speed of light

Jolly good then, we have the first breach of the speed-of-light "speed limit": If there's indeed a shutter moving there, it clearly needs to move further than 0.07mm for each frame - so where's my Nobel Prize, thank you...?

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Higgs????

Can we get a picture of the Boson now? Maybe one of him/her/it smiling?

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Boffin

Re: Higgs????

I just had to look it up. Looks like not quite yet:

Higgs Boson lifetime: 1.56×10^−22s

Still 10 orders of magnitude to go.

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Astonishing.

You're talking about watching atoms vibrate in a crystal.

When you look deeper into objects your understanding is likely to change quite a lot.

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Re: Astonishing.

"You're talking about watching atoms vibrate in a crystal."

Not with light you're not !

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Anonymous Coward

What's a billion?

"You read that right. 4.4 trillion. As in a million times a million, or 10^12"

In British English, a million times a million is a billion. A trillion is a million times that.

ie: 1000x1000 = 1 million. x1000 => milliard. x1000 => billion. x1000 => billiard. etc.

/troll-out

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Re: What's a billion?

In 'British English' (English-speaking countries), a billion has been a thousand million (short scale) for a long time. The long scale (million million) is still in use on the continent.

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Re: What's a billion?

When I were a lass (umpty-'leven years ago)* a billion were a million million, and that was that. Then I noticed over the years that the financial news , often talking in dollars, started using the word billion as meaning a thousand million, apparently because that's what the Americans used and it was their currency being spoken of. being interested in astronomy, the million million form of billion naturally had more appeal - easier to talk of bigger numbers with that schema (a trillion being a million million million; add another million for a quadrillion, etc). I ended up thinking of ten to the ninth as a 'financial billion' and ten to the twelfth as a 'proper billion' - and still do. So I'm afraid I'd disagree with Mr Webb above, unless the subject is finance, which it isn't. Doubtless I'm out of step with current usage... sigh.

*OK, about 50

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Re: What's a billion?

There's a Wiki page for that.

And yes, I had to check as well.

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Re: What's a billion?

Paul, that is only because the UK is dumb enough to follow the US in this.

I heard someone say that the US went down this road because they wanted to appear bigger and thus better than everyone else - a billion sounds bigger than a thousand million.

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Re: What's a billion?

I recall Gordon Brown giving a speech in Parliament, and very carefully stating "One Thousand Million...." It might have been pounds (£). Can't recall what context it was in; maybe during a Budget speech.

He certainly didn't refer to it as a Billion.

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Re: What’s a billion?

Ivan 4, you should be more discerning about whom you listen to. Here’s the OED exegesis under billion:

The name appears not to have been adopted in Eng. [from 16th c. French] before the end of the 17th c.: see [1690] quot. from Locke. Subsequently the application of the word was changed by French arithmeticians [to the short scale]. In the 19th century [by 1834], the U.S. adopted the French convention, but Britain retained the original and etymological use (to which France reverted in 1948).
Since 1951 the U.S. value, a thousand millions, has been increasingly used in Britain, especially in technical writing and, more recently, in journalism; but the older sense ‘a million millions’ is still common.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's a billion?

As for trillion, I thought a trillion in Britain used to be a billion billion and went through thousand billion, million billion, and thousand million billion first.

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Now you really can watch grass grow, paint dry and lattice vibrational waves waving…

… and a politician with his mouth shut!

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Joke

… and a politician with his mouth shut!

Are you seriously telling me you'd be willing to sift through a full billion frames just to locate that single frame?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Could you please film a bolt of lightning please?

That is all. I wanna see light moving at a leisury place. I wanna see a laser beam (a green one?) on a foggy environment as well.

Can we really measure now the speed of light changing as it enters a solid medium, like glass?

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Re: I wanna see light moving at a leisury place

If you haven't already seen it, you might like this video - it's not quite a one take trillion fps, but it is a visualisation of a pulse of laser light passing through a coke bottle done using multiple passes, and it still makes me go wow....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wanna see light moving at a leisury place

Thank you, I will check it later, and you didn't make fun of my typo (pace... instead of place), so I will give you one deserved upvote.

By the way, I'd like to see that Mosquito laser ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito_laser ) working on the same terms.

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Boffin

If I got my maffs rite...

Excel calulated, errors and pentium bugs expected :p

Camera runs at 4.4 trillion FPS - 4.4*10^12

Speed of light 300 million m/s:

Average screen resolution: 92 dpi

39 inches/metre, so 3588 dots per metre.

So, one light second, = 1*10^12 pixels

It would therefore seem that this camera runs fast enough to capture light moving across the screens slow enough that 4.4 frames of full speed video would only see the light beam move by 1 pixel across an average screen... Impressive.

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Joke

Peter Jackson is furious

4.4 trillion/fps? He's going to have to spend years reshooting the last episode of The Hobbit.

And the running time will now be several million years!

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Re: Peter Jackson is furious

Instead of just seeming like it.

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"it appears to have a shutter of some sort."

Actually, there's a bit of a trick to high speed shutters: they don't open and close! No, it's rotary. The Fastax high speed rotating-prism went to 10,000 framers per second, and the Rapatronic camera with its polarizing filters allows speeds down to 10 nanoseconds. But of course, that's back in the 1940's.

That said, it's actually using a laser to strobe the subject: "An ultrashort laser pulse is split by the temporal mapping device (TMD) into a series of discrete daughter pulses in different spectral bands, which are incident on the target as successive ‘flashes’ for stroboscopic image acquisition."

There you go, no shutter, just a laser to strobe the target.

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some targets...

At that speed,if you were able to resolve them you would see proteins folding (fastest ones fold 10-12), but they are really small and beyond optical light for individual molecues.

But watch cell replication, you might be able to see some protein complexes action (not the proteins themselves but the sequence of movements).

P.

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At last

I can record my sex life!

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TRT
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Re: At last

Or what Miley Cyrus does between selfies.

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Amazing

At that frame rate, it will be able to capture light travelling a minuscule 0.068 millimeter between frames. Maybe my calculator (or my brain) cannot handle the digits.

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How may snaps in a row?

They didn't mention that the camera can only capture one frame at that speed before having to recover for umpteen milliseconds. Of course, I don't know - I'm just asking.

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