For centuries, the scientific community has not been able to prove certain theories, since the human eye is not able to see some physical phenomena. Modern technologies have opened up new possibilities, making it possible to capture even moving and reflected light.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have been able to trace the movement of light with the MegaX ultra-high-speed camera, capable of shooting at 24,000 frames per second. It also used an ultra-fast electronic shutter with a response rate of just 3.8 nanoseconds.
“Thanks to the high pixel count and fast shutter speed, you can see the spread of light across multiple shots without moving the camera or overlapping images from other cameras. Everything is done on MegaX ”, – said the author of the study.
For the experiment, we used a setup where light is successively reflected from several mirrors.
Since it is impossible to see light during flight, the researchers focused on the movement of the photons of the laser pulse, scattering particles in the air. Using knowledge about the trajectory of the pulse and how long the pulses took to reach the camera, the team applied machine learning algorithms to construct a three-dimensional light path.
According to experts, this discovery may be useful not only in scientific research but also in virtual and augmented reality, robotics and self-driving cars. Knowledge of the movement of light allows fixtures to more accurately recreate their environment.