The PF32 has such precise timing precision that you can watch light as it travels.
Visualising processes that occur in the nanosecond time-regime is no problem for the PF32’s 55 ps time resolution. In the video below, researchers from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Glasgow have captured light in flight – individual photons scattered by molecules in the air were detected by the PF32 camera. The data was then interpolated to increase the resolution and overlaid on a background photograph.
In the same paper, they use a similar method to capture plasma creation in air. This time the process was filmed with two different optical bandpass filters, one to record the laser, and one to record the plasma generation. Analysis of the exponential lifetime decay of the plasma shows the results are consistent with previously reported values. Quoting the paper: “It is important to note that the technique described here allows to characterize the plasma dynamics without the need to introduce any additional scattering agents, which would severely alter the plasma formation process itself.”
In another paper from the same Universities, and Southampton University, the authors reported the use of the PF32 to analyse laser pulse dynamics in optical fibres. By placing different spectral bandpass filters in front of the sensor, they used the PF32 to record supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibre. In the video below, all the results from the different bandpasses are combined into one video, demonstrating that there is a delay between the red and blue components. Through analysis of this data, the authors were able to measure the group index of different wavelength bands at a standoff distance of 1 meter without direct access to the fibre.