Boffins camera sees round corners

News on Nature tells of intriguing photographic technique - not that it's at all remotely useful for paparazzi and otehrs wishing to take shots of objects that are around corners but not in direct view. Includes:

They fire a pulse of laser light at a wall on the far side of the hidden scene, and record the time at which the scattered light reaches a camera. Photons bounce off the wall onto the hidden object and back to the wall, scattering each time, before a small fraction eventually reaches the camera, each at a slightly different time. It's this time resolution that provides the key to revealing the hidden geometry. The position of the 50-femtosecond (that’s 50 quadrillionths of a second) laser pulse is also changed 60 times, to gain multiple perspectives on the hidden scene.
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Whereas photons that have hit different parts of the hidden scene from one laser position may be the same, they will have a different total distance for another laser spot. "The overall mathematical technique," explains Raskar, "is similar to the computational tomography that is used in X-ray CAT-scans."

At present, the whole process takes several minutes, but researchers hope that in the future, it will be reduced to less than 10 seconds.

How to see around corners

 

 

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