Ghost Imaging Technique Discovered in Quantum Physics

Spooky Quantumn Camera

Courtesy of Keoni | Flickr

Einstein, in the course of his works, came across a new phenomenon in quantum physics, something he famously dubbed “spooky”. While normal images are formed when light striking on a surface bounces back on to a lens, in this case, photons that never strike the object form its image!

Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Vienna, Austria,  led a new study where they used two different laser beams of similar properties, i. e., with a similar quantum behavior, but different colors. These two laser beams are said to be in quantum entanglement, meaning, due to their similarities, altering one alters the other. Here’s a little peek to how the thing works:

Quantum Entanglement

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.

Not exactly ghost imaging, but that’s what inventors of this new technique are calling it.

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

-Quantum optics expert Paul Lett of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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