Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MedicalConspiracies- New quantum camera capable of snapping photos of 'ghosts'

New quantum camera capable of snapping photos of 'ghosts'
Spooky quantum cameras can capture images from photons that never
encountered the objects pictured.
Bryan Nelson
August 27, 2014, 6:22 p.m.
25.2K 131 97
Ghostly image It's a little eerie as quantum cameras capture ghost
images using quantum entanglement. (Photo: Keoni Cabral/Flickr)

By utilizing a process that Einstein famously called "spooky,"
scientists have successfully caught "ghosts" on film for the first time
using quantum cameras.

The "ghosts" captured on camera weren't the kind you might first think;
scientists didn't discover the wandering lost souls of our ancestors.
Rather, they were able to capture images of objects from photons that
never actually encountered the objects pictured. The technology has been
dubbed "ghost imaging," reports National Geographic.

Normal cameras work by capturing light that bounces back from an object.
That's how optics are supposed to work. So how can it be possible to
capture an image of an object from light if the light never bounced off
the object? The answer in short: quantum entanglement.

Entanglement is the weird instantaneous link that has been shown to
exist between certain particles even if they are separated by vast
distances. How exactly the phenomenon works remains a mystery, but the
fact that it works has been proven.

Quantum cameras capture ghost images by making use of two separate laser
beams that have their photons entangled. Only one beam encounters the
object pictured, but the image can nevertheless be generated when either
beam strikes the camera.

"What they've done is a very clever trick. In some ways it is magical,"
explained quantum optics expert Paul Lett of the National Institute of
Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. "There is not new
physics here, though, but a neat demonstration of physics."

For the experiment, researchers passed a beam of light through etched
stencils and into cutouts of tiny cats and a trident that were about
0.12 inches tall. A second beam of light, at a different wavelength from
the first beam but nevertheless entangled with it, traveled on a
separate line and never hit the objects. Amazingly, the second beam of
light revealed pictures of the objects when a camera was focused on it,
even though this beam never encountered the objects. The results of the
study were published in the journal Nature. (A similar, more preliminary
experiment back in 2009 demonstrated the same trick in slightly less
sophisticated fashion.)

Because the two beams were at different wavelengths, it could eventually
lead to improved medical imaging or silicon chip lithography in
hard-to-see situations. For instance, doctors might use this method for
generating images in visible light even though the images were actually
captured using a different kind of light, such as infrared.

"This is a long-standing, really neat experimental idea," said Lett.
"Now we have to see whether or not it will lead to something practical,
or will remain just a clever demonstration of quantum mechanics."

Related on MNN:

Scientists achieve quantum teleportation of data with 100 percent
How plants use quantum physics to survive
Quantum experiment could offer proof of a parallel world

Related topics: Research & Innovation, Science, Technology

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