Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Taking a picture of an image without using light that interacted with it.

When you look at something - any object - your eyes are reading information from all of the light reflected off that object. A leaf appears green because it absorbs or scatters all other kinds of light.

Light actually consists of individual particles called photons. An odd thing about particles - if you "entangle" one particle with another, they still are effected by one another over great distances. Change the spin of one, and the other one reacts. It doesn't seem to make too much sense, but that is quantum physics.

So what happens if you could capture the information of light particles that are hitting an object, but you only have contact with their entangled friend? Turns out you can make an image out of it anyway. The information is, I am told, only useful if you get the other one back too, but it is still pretty nifty. Below is an image of a toy soldier they viewed by this indirect method:

This will be sort of a big deal, as in the future, it might allow for the ability to see through all sorts of things. I know is seems strange, since we only see a cloudless Google Earth whenever we want, but satellites still need clear days for good imagery. This might be another way of mitigating those pesky clouds.

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