Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sharp Pics Taken Through Opaque Material w/ Laser & Computer

Looking Through an Opaque Material: Sharp Pictures Taken of Objects Hidden Behind an Opaque Screen

(a) The test object used was the Greek letter "π", written in fluorescent ink and 100x smaller than the one printed here. The test object was covered by a strongly scattering ground-glass diffuser that completely hid it from view. (b) A laser beam was then scanned in angle, always hitting the diffuser in the same spot. The test object only yielded a diffuse glow of fluorescent light. (c) The intensity of this fluorescence was measured versus the angle of the laser beam and recorded by a computer. The seemingly random pattern bears no resemblance to the test object. (d) The computer then searched for similarities in the measured pattern which are used to calculate the true shape of the test object. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Twente) 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 6, 2012) — A team of researchers from the Netherlands and Italy has succeeded in making sharp pictures of objects hidden behind an opaque screen. 

Materials such as skin, paper and ground glass appear opaque because they scatter light. In such materials light does not move in a straight line, but travels along an unpredictable and erratic path. As a result, it is impossible to get a clear view of objects hidden behind such materials. Powerful methods have been developed to retrieve images through materials in which a small fraction of the light follows a straight path. To date, however, it has not been possible to resolve an image from light that has been completely scattered.

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