YouTubers caught the speed of light on camera at 10 trillion frames per second

  • Two YouTubers captured the speed of light on camera
  • It looks like an eighties film effect – but it’s actually real
  • It was captured at an incredible 10,000,000,000,000 frames per second

Published on Jan 29, 2024 at 4:49 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Jan 30, 2024 at 7:12 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

A pair of tech-minded YouTubers have actually captured the speed of light on camera.

That meant filming at an incredible 10,000,000,000,000 frames per second.

‘The Slow Mo Guys’, Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy, have a YouTube account with 15 million subscribers.

READ MORE! NASA spacecraft to ‘touch’ the sun at staggering speed in 2024

They are best known for their hypnotic footage of thousandth-of-a-second events that are so quick they’re virtually invisible to the naked eye – think mouse traps going off and water balloons popping.

But this video went one step further at 20 million times faster than anything they’d ever filmed before.

To put that into perspective: the speed of light travels at the absolute speed limit of the Universe.

That’s 300,000 kilometers per second (186,000 miles per second).

In other hard-to-get-your-head-around news, a supercomputer simulating an entire human brain will be switched on later this year.

That means it’s capable of an incomprehensible 228 trillion synaptic operations per second.

‘The Slow Mo Guys’ headed to CalTech University to use its specialist equipment.

There they met with postdoctoral scholar, Peng Wang, at the Compressed Ultrafast Photography department.

He explained to them that light would move the length of a bottle in 2,000 picoseconds of footage.

The speed of sound has also been in the news recently, with NASA unveiling a revolutionary jet set for commercial supersonic flights.

The YouTubers pondered if they’d be able to capture the “fastest thing known to man”.

“Now, we’ve filmed at some very high frame rates, we’re talking up to about half a million,” said Dan,

“Which is not to be sniffed at,” the pair agreed in unison.

CalTech’s camera shoots at an incredible 10,000,000,000,000 (10 trillion) frames per second.

This meant that the video sequence had to be measured in picoseconds (1/1,000,000,000,000th of a second).

What we actually see on camera when that footage is slowed is a ” blue-ish laser light”.

While “it almost looks like sort of an ’80s film effect” – it’s actually happening constantly.

What you’re seeing is photons being refracted.

To the naked eye the scientific duo claim that it looked like “it was constantly lit up”.

In other never-before-caught-on-camera discoveries, NASA’s spectacular new images of Uranus will leave you speechless.

Amazed viewers took to the comment section.

“It’s unreal that humanity has something that allows you to see the speed of light. This is really mind blowing,” said one.

“It really does feel like something we shouldn’t have seen it’s insane,” said a second.

# Tags - Science, Tech, YouTube


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.