1 × 10^3 Words: Domani Fotocamera

by Michael Mullaney on July 29, 2009

C. Lopez/A. Hirsa

C. Lopez/A. Hirsa

It seems impossible: Two drops of water moving up and down at incredible speeds, prompted by short pulses of sound. Shine a laser through the droplets, and you have a miniature camera than can capture up to 250 images per second.

It’s not at all impossible. In fact, it’s quite feasible that your children or grandchildren will one day have this lightweight, energy-efficient “liquid lens” technology embedded in their mobile phones. You can read all about professor Amir Hirsa‘s efforts toward this goal here, here, and here.

The beautiful above image is a series of time-lapse photos that show the drops of water vibrating at high speeds. With each crest and fall of the droplets is the opportunity for the camera to be in focus. The time between frames is four milliseconds.