How is it possible to take pictures at billions of frames every second?

24 January 2010

Question

How can you possibly take pictures at billions of frames every second?

Answer

We put this question to Bill Proud:

Well number one, you need a very intense bright light source. Some people actually use explosives to do the lighting for the system! The next thing you need is a thing called a CCD, Charge Capture Device, or CMOS camera. What you're doing is switching on high voltages, in and out very, very quickly. So it's high voltage pulses on a nanosecond duration with explosive as the lighting. These can be quite destructive experiments, even if you're doing quite small scale experiments.

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