Photographing photons that move at the speed of light in space is an extremely complex task that requires the most advanced technical solutions. Employees of the Canadian National Institute of Scientific Research have been able to capture photons in real time, using the new technology of ultrafast imaging.
This is UV-CUP technology, which captures half a trillion frames per second. Until now, such solutions have been limited to visible light, but UV-CUP can also capture the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.
“How do I capture something that lasts a tiny fraction of a second? For example, the flight of a photon? To do this, we had to create a special photocathode and embed it in a so-called strip camera designed specifically to capture ultra-fast events. In addition, we applied new algorithms to process the data received by the camera,” said Jingyang Liang, lead author of the research project.
As a result, the Canadian scientists were able to obtain a visual projection of ultraviolet pulses that shows the movement of light particles in real time. Now the researchers want to refine the technology using artificial intelligence algorithms that will improve the quality of fixation.