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Technology

Currently, ultrafast cameras are restricted by the optics of conventional low-speed cameras, e.g., the lens must be placed at a certain distance away from the sensor. To address this limitation, the inventors utilize a technique called “time-folding optics” in which light is reflected within a cavity consisting of two partially reflective mirrors. An ultrafast sensor captures an image at specific time intervals, resulting in a set of time-resolvable images. Importantly, this system allows ultrafast cameras to be designed compactly because the focal point moves closer to the lens with each reflection of light inside the cavity. In addition, rearrangement of the cavity and lens enables multi-zoom capabilities, as focused images of objects placed at different distances can be captured within a single acquisition. Furthermore, addition of spectral filters to this optical configuration allows for ultrafast, high-resolution, multi-color imaging.