The Hobbit being shot 48 fps? Pathetic. MIT's trillion fps camera? Pokey at best. Just wait until you see the video a team of German researchers have created. It's two frames long, lasts just 50 femtoseconds, and doesn't star Nic Cage.
The film, which runs 800 billion times faster per second than a conventional Hollywood feature was created with an X-ray laser. The team, led by Professor Stefan Eisebitt from Technische Universität Berlin and the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, split the X-ray beam and diverted one-half of it down path 0.015 milimeters longer than the other, then recorded both as they crossed the finish line. As Physorg explains, "since no detector can be read out so fast, the scientists stored both images as superimposed holograms [shown above], allowing the subsequent reconstruction of the single images." The detour delayed the beam by just 50 femtoseconds—the shortest interval ever recorded on film.
The new technology is expected to be employed tracking nano structures in real-time. "The novel X-ray lasers will offer high speed films of ultrafast molecular processes and chemical reactions for a better understanding of these processes," said DESY's director of research Professor Edgar Weckert. [Physorg via Engadget]