How do you film the Speed of Light?

How do you film the Speed of Light?


In a building over there,
is a camera that absolutely
blows my mind. Is this camera capable
of filming the speed of light? – Yeah.
– Dan: Heck. – Very high tech stuff, guys.
– The maximum speed we can do is 10 trillion
frames per second. This is the reason we came here.
Crank it up all the way? – Yeah.
– All right. I just feel like no human
should ever have seen this. We’ve filmed
the fastest thing. We’ve hit our ceiling. It’s not going to be
anytime soon that we’re going to film
anything faster, so… Not this year, maybe. Should we just invent
some stuff that’s faster? Let’s just start
making up stuff. Yeah, this camera is,
like, 50 trillion– You clearly haven’t seen
super light. It was really interesting,
the set-up. You can tell that so many
thousands of hours of research had gone into creating
that camera. I mean, the footage,
you can’t really tell
what’s happening. When you think about
what’s actually happening, what you’re actually seeing,
it’s more impressive than
the actual footage. Yeah,
it’s one of those things
where the idea of it is way more impressive
than the visual of it. ‘Cause the visual of it
looks like a slightly outdated
film effect. With a picture
of a bottle on it.( synth music playing )I would say of all
the videos we’ve shot, this one,
while we were shooting it, I was struggling to comprehend how the camera was actually
acquiring those images. And also then,
you’ve got to think about
the time scale involved. Like, I can’t get my head around
how short a picosecond is. – It’s absolutely insane.
– Well, nothing else happens
on that sort of scale. Well, as we’re struggling
to wrap our heads around it, we thought it would be best
to actually ask one of the people
who invented the technology. We’re here with Lihong,
who’s one of the inventors
of the camera. Do you think you
could talk us through it,
exactly how it works, and we can try
and understand it, because I just
don’t get it right now. Sure. For the first time,
humans can see how a light pulse
propagates in space. But before
I talk about our camera, let me talk about
the standard streak camera.A standard streak camera
gives you a 1-D movie
that’s really fast.You only allow
the X dimension,
or horizontal dimension,
to pass through,
then you watch a horse race
through a slit.
– It won’t be as fun.
– Right. We’re so used to
your smartphone cameras seeing at least the world
in 2-D, if not 3-D. Yeah, it’s a world
you can relate to. Exactly.
And so let me talk about
how our camera works.Let’s say we start
with this object.
But before we send it
to a standard streak camera,
we’re going to route itto this digital
micromirror device.
We write this code,
and that’s an important step,
because that allows us
later on to decode everything
to generate a 2-D movie.And this encoded objectis routed
to this streak camera
Unlike the standard use
of the streak camera,
we allow the wide dimension,or the vertical dimension
to come in.
At the back end,
you can use a slower camera
to capture whatever
you want to detect.
It’s a great invention.This technology allows usto look at really short
time intervals.
Why do we have to
use a laser instead of just
a normal light bulb
or a flashlight? A flashlight
turns on too slowly
for us to observe. A laser,
we can make it really short. So we use a state of the art
laser pulse, and that turns on within
a femtosecond scale. So, the laser pulse
is on the femto scale? Right, right. Yeah.
But our camera works so fast… – Yeah, I was going to say.
– …even nanoseconds
feels like eternity. This camera makes it look
like the light’s just
hanging out forever,but it’s really still
on the pico scale.
Lihong:Right,
you’re literally watching
the slowest slow motion
movies right now.
The hope is that our camera
can be used to study
some fundamental physics. We’ve all heard of sonar,
but there’s an optical counterpart of sonar
called lidar. Very much like radar, as well. You basically detect
a round trip time. So, from the time,
you can measure distance. Could that be used
to see around corners? Yes, it is feasible,
although we haven’t
done that physically. – That’s like a superpower.
– Yeah. For now, we’re doing something
very similar to that. Let’s say you have
a foggy situation
or a cloudy situation.To your naked eye,you would not see
the airplane at all.
So we can just
see through the cloud
and get a movie like this.You can see
this little airplane. Gav:And I’m seeing
you can also see
the depth information
this way, as well.
Lihong:
You get depth information.
This would be actually much
more accurate than our eye.
And this could be useful, even maybe in the future
for autonomous cars. We want to drive
in a cloudy situation– a foggy situation, and you can see objects
through the fog. – Another superpower.
– Yeah. We’re also thinking about
something more biological. We know that our brain
is the most complex machine
probably in the universe. I want to figure out
how our brain computes
one plus one, even. By using our camera,
we can potentially see that. Would this be useful
for detecting damage
in the brain? Like, if someone’s
had a stroke, would you be able
to see that on this? That’s certainly our hope. Does that mean
that in the future, people will be able
to read my mind? That’s one possibility. I just feel like
it must feel like
such an accomplishment to have seen
the fastest thing. It was a surreal moment
when we got the first movie
at light speed. Because that’s
the ceiling as we know it. We never thought
it would be possible, yes. Well, thank you very much,
Lihong, for teaching us
all this fascinating stuff. I’m going to be thinking
about this on the way home. I’m going to be watching this
and trying to understand it. – Several times.
– All right, back to you,
Gav and Dan. Thanks, us. This is our
time cheat sheet, just a list of all
the different time scales. We usually hang around
milliseconds. A lot of our exposures
are down to the microsecond. – Yeah.
– Sometimes when
we’re using the 2511, we’ll have exposure times
that are pushing on
the hundredths of nanoseconds, but that’s about as far
as our Phantoms go. – Yeah.
– We were down here
with this camera and around
in this ballpark. But before, right,
I kind of had it
all comprehended. I had it all in my mind,
like, “Yeah, this is
the amount of time.” – Now I’ve lost it again.
– Well, what– – That many zeroes?
– What blows my mind is we had
femtosecond long
piece of light – going all around…
– Yeah, we did. …filming it with
picosecond differences
between frames. What on Earth
is all this about? Yoctosecond? Surely, that would make
the light look like
you blinking.At this point,
I feel like you might
as well just say infinity.We’ve actually
had a lot of comments over
the years of doing this asking us to film light
with our Phantom. Like, film a torch
or a laser beam or a light bulb
or something. And I always
have to explain to them, light is so fast
that our Phantom camera sees light
the exact same way
as our eyes do. So just for the hell of it, thought I’d
demonstrate it here. Here’s the light.
Here’s a piece of paper. Let’s play it.Boop. All right.
There it is, instantly on.
I just dropped that to prove
that it was in slow-mo.
Because otherwise–
– Dan:They wouldn’t believe us.Gav:They wouldn’t
believe us otherwise.
I thought a good way
to demonstrate just how fast 100 billion plus
frames a second is, we could just look
at some of our old footage and determine how long
it would have taken at 100 billion
frames a second, or 10 trillion. All right, let me
pull something up.Lightning strike.One of the fastest things we’ve ever filmed previously before we immediately
beat it. If we were to film this at
100 billion frames a second. to watch the whole clip
played back at 24 would take almost
four months. – Four months?
– Yeah. And it’s just
happening right there. Gav:
And there it is.
And if somehow we were ableto film this at
10 trillion frames a second, the whole strike
from beginning to end would take 32 years. Imagine the length
of that storm. I can actually
simulate exactly what
that would look like if filmed at 10 trillion. Here we go,
and it’s playing now. That’s exactly
what it would look like. – Flippin’-A.
– All right, another clip? No, no.
Watch the whole thing. Okay. – 32 years.
– That should take us
into retirement. Yeah, I think so. ( no audible dialogue ) Next clip.
Remember this bad lad? Dan:
I do. Sherman round.
Gav:We filmed this
at 12,000 frames a second.
There it is
hurtling through the air.
If we’d have filmed thisat 100 billion frames
a second,
from the muzzle
to when it goes out of the end of frame
would take eight years. Well, that would
kind of defeat the object of having a tank
firing at something. They’d just be, like, “I guess I’ll move
out of the way.” You could serve
two presidential terms before it went out of frame.Now just for giggles,it’s pretty easy math–you just add two zeroes.If we filmed it
at 10 trillion, 800 years from
beginning to end. So, like, quite a few
Queen Elizabeths. And finally,
the human blink–
specifically, yours. You can tell it’s mine
because of the rogue brow. – Gav:Look at that.
Yeah.Gav:Filmed at
1,000 frames a second,
if shot at 100 billion,
it would take 19 yearsfor you to close
and open your eyes.
( Dan gasps )Gav:The things that you
wouldn’t have seen.
It would be like
I’d be just about to celebrate the millennium,
and then I’d be like, “Whoa!” “3, 2, 1! 2019?” You blinked
and missed the millennium.And absurdly,
if we filmed this
at 10 trillion frames
a second,
the most boring video ever, it would take 1,900 years for you to open
your eyes again. So, I’d just start blinking when Jesus was cutting around. I’d open them up
and it would be World War I. – Pretty much.
– Right. That’s a great way
of imagining that. And just think,
in all that time, a few photons of light
would just be like, “Ah, there we go,”
like it was nothing. That was honestly
an absurd episode. To take something that–
you know, everyday time,
we’re used to it, but to take it
to that extreme level, you could barely
even get your head around.
I quite liked it. I liked how much
it messed with my head. Me, too.
I quite liked how
they were telling us about the real world
applications it could be used for
in the future, like the police
might want to use it to see around corners
with that lidar. Like the sonar where
they fire light out and bounces off
all the surfaces and they see people
around the corner. Yeah, or easily being able to see through skin
with one picture. Yeah, you can see
how a wound is healing or you can basically take
a MRI with your cell phone. It makes me
slightly terrified about the future
of surveillance technology, but, you know,
we’ll see what happens. Hopefully,
you enjoyed that video. Make sure you check out
other episodes from “Planet Slow Mo.” and you can subscribe to us, the Slow Mo Guys,
if you want. The episodes aren’t usually
that heavy, I promise. Those guys were so smart
and they wore lab coats. I feel like
I should just be, like– – We should take ours off.
– Just take it.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. while watching a video of this channel; I thought if we could view slowed down light movement. well guess what. this is already there. Masha Allah

  2. But if the electronics in the camera are theoretically bound by the speed of light, and all those billions of frames need to be written to some kind of RAM, which is much slower, how can it capture all those frames in the time it takes a light pulse to travel such a tiny distance?

  3. Maybe you could kinda see the speed of light with your cameras when you film turning on a powerful flashlight or laser at night pointing at clouds that are far away.

  4. i dont know if the thing with the flashlight just has lag or if the light appears on dan's shoulder a bit later than on the paper

  5. Hey you guys captured the speed of light.but the background light were visible doesn't it makes sense . They shouldn't be visible as they are also light.🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  6. If you can film at 200 000fps, it means light can travel 1500 meters in one frame…
    If you set up 2 mirrors at 750m and 1500m and shine at them, you should be able to see difference 🙂

  7. C versus XY CODE

    01010000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100101 01110100
    00100000 01010011 01101100 01101111 01110111 00100000
    01001101 01101111 00100000 01000101 01100001 01110011
    01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01000101 01100111
    01100111 00100000 01010000 01101100 01100001 01101110 01100101
    01110100 00100000 01010011 01101100 01101111 01110111
    00100000 01001101 01101111 00100000 01000101
    01100001 01110011 01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000
    01000101 01100111 01100111

    Wow ok i spent a lot of my precious time so that i could find out that THAT MEANS

    Planet Slow Mo Easter Egg Planet Slow Mo Easter Egg

  8. Если долбануть 30киллотон на обратной стороне земли от солнца на дестанции 400-500килоометров вкосмосе ваше видео найдут потомки с костями мамонта до встречи в будущем дибилы

  9. Придурки-скорости света не существует а существует освещённость измеряемая в люменах😂

  10. Are we seeing photon packets only? Thinking of the double slit experiment, because we are looking at it, we would not see the wave property of light. Correct?

  11. Pour filmé la lumière on a besoin d'une caméra qui prend des photos a une vitesse plus rapide que la lumière, donc c'est impossible car rien n'est plus rapide a ce jour que la lumière elle même.

  12. Ive seen you guys off and on for a while now, never really committing to the subscribe button for some reason, but this episode, also with part 1, definitely got my Subscribe. love every bit of this. Thanks guys 🙂

  13. so, your see'ing a computer animation of light moving?.. lame… that other guy wasn't that smart and he managed to film actual light refracting of glass. aparently you dont need a 10 nano second light bulb… just watch the beam when you turn it off.

    indeed. in has an end point….

  14. This is AMAZING!!

    Would this technology enable one to actually 'SEE' the electrons, protons and neutrons of an atom?? Actually be able to trace the electron paths?? Or visibly 'SEE' an atom split in an accelerator?

    If you guys could arrange THAT test…….

    Great videos guys! Keep it up!

  15. Imagine if we could see when light breaks down in resolution from its wave-like nature to individual excitations, or photons…
    That would be truly amazing!

  16. No, no no..do not give this to the police..they all ready have plate scanning cameras…1984 is here and big bro is watching YOU!..Hey Brian stop picking your nose

  17. Anyone know how to simulate a very slow speed of light (1m/sec) in 3D? Imagine you have a completely dark room. When you "turn on the lights", a sphere of light starts radiating from the bare bulb light source in the middle of the ceiling. Slowly it reaches the walls and various objects in the room and illuminates them but all shadows are pitch black. Then secondary bounces start to fill in the shadows, and so on. Would be cool to watch this happen in various scenes.

  18. Actually, we are currently developing the tech to see around corners like he asked 4:05
    its not high quality but it seems promising

  19. The human mind doesn’t have any memory or stored events. All the information is outside the mind. The mind works like a antenna. Reading a mind is just receiving the same information at the same time by two or more people. Like a two way radio. Is another version of telepathy. Telepathy is the most used.

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