This story is from the category Display Technology
Date posted: 07/08/2012
Inspired by the erratic behavior of photons zooming around and bouncing off objects and walls inside a room, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, and Rice University combined these bouncing photons with advanced optics to enable them to "see" what's hidden around the corner.
This technique, described in a paper published August 6 in the Optical Society's open-access journal Optics Express, may one day prove invaluable in disaster recovery situations, as well as in noninvasive biomedical imaging applications.
"Imagine photons as particles bouncing right off the walls and down a corridor and around a corner -- the ones that hit an object are reflected back. When this happens, we can use the data about the time they take to move around and bounce back to get information about geometry," explains Otkrist Gupta, an MIT graduate student and lead author of the new Optics Express paper.
Using advanced optics in the form of an ultrafast laser and a 2-D streak camera, both of which operate on the order of trillions of cycles per second, the team exploited being able to capture billions of images per second to demonstrate the technology's ability to "see" objects by analyzing the light moving around a corner or through water bottle.
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