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Debut for World's Fastest Camera

from BBC News Online

The fastest imaging system ever devised has been demonstrated by researchers reporting in the journal Nature. Their camera snaps images less than a half a billionth of a second long, capturing over six million of them in a second continuously.

It works by using a fast laser pulse dispersed in space and then stretched in time and detected electronically. The approach will be instrumental in analysing, for example, flowing blood samples in a search for diseased cells.

What is more, the camera works with just one detector, rather than the millions in a typical digital camera. Dubbed Serial Time-Encoded Amplified imaging, or Steam, the technique depends on carefully manipulating so-called "supercontinuum" laser pulses.

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