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New laser camera films at 12.5 billion frames per second

Physicists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, along with colleagues in the US and Germany, have an ultrafast laser camera developed. This can create videos at a record speed of 12.5 billion frames per second.


The increase in performance compared to the best laser cameras available to date is not marginal: speed has increased by a factor of a thousand. However, the development of the system was not only about technical progress. Instead, the creators had to build a corresponding tool in order to advance an entirely different search.

Specifically, it comes to the question of what exactly happens when different hydrocarbons are burned. The starting material is applied to a carrier in a two-dimensional layer and fired. The camera can then be used to precisely monitor which interactions take place and in what order.

combustion in detail

“The more images are taken, the more accurately we can trace the course of events. When hydrocarbon fuels are burned, nano-sized soot particles, various light phenomena and environmentally hazardous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are produced,” says Yogeshwar Nath. Mishra, a researcher at the University of Gothenburg.

Not only were earlier cameras much slower, but they also required multiple laser pulses to create a single image. However, each use of the laser introduces new energy to the combustion process and corresponding distortions in the results must be eliminated. One laser pulse per image is sufficient for the new camera, which means that the light is used more efficiently and a more intense sequence of images can be obtained.

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The researchers are particularly interested in the soot particles that form during the process. These only have a short lifespan, but they produce important data about the processes in progress. Possible applications for the new camera system go beyond combustion research; The device can be used in physics, chemistry, biology and medicine, as well as in energy and environmental research.


  • Researchers develop a laser camera with 12.5 billion frames/sec.
  • Research focus: Investigation of combustion processes
  • The camera requires only one laser pulse per image
  • Possible applications in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and the environment
  • The camera is 1,000 times faster than previously available laser cameras

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