The traditional method for visualising extremely high-speed phenomenon is the pump‒probe approach. In this technique, a laser pulse is used to excite the sample under study, and a probe pulse then grabs a snapshot image after a specific short delay. A video is then built up by sequentially incrementing the amount of this delay. But, while this is a useful and powerful technique, it’s only suitable for imaging repetitive events that repeat consistently and uniformly.
Prof. Keiichi Nakagawa (University of Tokyo) heads a group pursuing diverse research projects which all somehow involve the interaction of acoustic waves and light with materials, particularly living tissue. Several years ago, they realised they needed a method to produce an ultrafast video stream of a single (non-repeating) very dynamic event, such as the propagation of an acoustic wavefront. They developed STAMP to meet this need.
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