Laser experiment takes photographs without detecting light from feline subject
Gabriela Barreto Lemos
Exploiting the same quantum quirk that spawns Schrödinger’s undead cat in the famous thought experiment, a research team snapped a portrait of a cat-shaped hole in cardboard without collecting any light bouncing off the two-dimensional kitty. This blind camera, comprising lasers and crystals, could help scientists illuminate microscopic worlds difficult to picture using existing techniques, the team reports in the Aug. 28 Nature.
“We didn’t detect any photons coming from the object, but we got a surprisingly clear image,” says physicist and lead author Gabriela Lemos of the University of Vienna.
The experiment marks the first time an image has been produced using light that never interacted with the subject. Existing quantum imaging techniques such as ghost imaging (SN: 9/12/09, p. 12)