Shalom Life | April 17, 2014

Israeli Scientists Find Way to See Through Skin Using Light

Scientists in Israel have found a novel way to get images through "scattering" materials such as frosted glass or even skin, or even "see around corners".

By: David Shear

Published: July 19th, 2012 in Health » Israel

Israeli Scientists Find Way to See Through Skin Using Light

Scientists in Israel have found a novel way to get images through scattering materials, such as frosted glass.

Much research in recent years has focused on correcting for scattering, mostly for medical applications. But the new trick, reported in Nature Photonics, is quick, simple and uses natural light rather than lasers.

It uses what is called a spatial light modulator to “undo” the scattering that makes objects opaque or non-reflecting.

Natural light vs. laser pulses

The prototype device was just one of a great many research efforts trying to crack the problem of scattering. But for some applications, the “time-of-flight” approach that the laser-based camera uses is not sufficient.

“If you want to look to see an embryo developing inside an egg but the eggshell scatters everything, or you want to look through the skin, scattering is the main enemy there, and time-of-flight is not a good solution,” explained senior author of the study Yaron Silberberg, Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

For those kinds of problems, Prof Silberberg and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have pushed the limits of what spatial light modulators (SLMs) can do.

SLMs modify what is known as the phase of an incoming light beam. Like a series of waves on the ocean that run over rocks or surfers, the waves in light can be slowed down or redirected when they hit scattering materials.

SLMs are made up of an array of pixels that can correct for this by selectively slowing down some parts of the beam and allowing others to pass untouched – when an electric field is applied to a pixel, it changes the speed at which light passes through it.

Prof Silberberg and his team first set up their SLM by shining light from a normal lamp through a highly scattering plastic film and allowing a computer to finely tune the SLM until they could see a clear image of the lamp through the film.

Keeping the SLM set this way, they were then able to obtain clear images of other objects through the film – the SLM effectively turns the film back into a clear sheet.

“What we have shown is that you don’t need lasers – everybody else was doing this with lasers, and we showed you can do it with incoherent light from a lamp or the Sun – natural light,” Prof Silberberg told BBC News.

Reflections

But the team then realized that the same approach can work in reflection – that is, not passing through a scattering material but bouncing off of it, such as the case of light bouncing off a wall at a corner.

They then showed the procedure works just as well when the light from an object bounces off a piece of paper; the SLM could “learn” how to undo the paper’s scattering effect, making it a nearly perfect reflector.

As Prof Silberberg puts it: “You can take a piece of wall and effectively turn it into a mirror, and this is the part that makes everybody raise an eyebrow.”

However, he said that the primary use for the technique would be in biological and medical studies – especially tackling the highly scattering white brain matter in neurological imaging – rather than the business of seeing through thin materials or around corners.

This article first appeared on The Times of India

Israeli Researcher Makes Significant Brain Cancer Discovery Israeli Researcher Makes Significant Brain Cancer Discovery TrendingHold Your Newborn Like a Kangaroo Hold Your Newborn Like a Kangaroo TrendingIntroducing AgriTask: "The Waze of Agriculture" Introducing AgriTask: "The Waze of Agriculture" Trending
 

Missouri Mayor 'Agrees' with Kansas Shooter

April 16, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Missouri Mayor 'Agrees' with Kansas Shooter

Dan Clavenger, the mayor of Marionville, Mo., said Frazier Glenn Miller, who killed three people at Jewish centers Sunday, was "nice and friendly"

Read More

‘The View’ Co-Hosts Past and Present to Reunite For Barbara Walters Farewell

April 16, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
‘The View’ Co-Hosts Past and Present to Reunite For Barbara Walters Farewell

All 11 co-hosts of 'The View' will appear on stage together for the first time

Read More

Top 7 Most Exciting Alternative Modes of Transport in Israel

April 16, 2014 | By Karin Kloosterman
Top 7 Most Exciting Alternative Modes of Transport in Israel

Folding cars and scooters, a cardboard bike, a no-impact wheel and a 'floating' rapid transit system are here or soon to appear in Israel

Read More

Stop Spreading Lies! AC/DC Are Not Breaking Up

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Stop Spreading Lies! AC/DC Are Not Breaking Up

The band has finally addressed recent rumors regarding their split

Read More

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Are Expecting a Girl

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Are Expecting a Girl

The happily engaged couple have announced the sex of their baby

Read More

James Franco Appears in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Without His Knowledge

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
James Franco Appears in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Without His Knowledge

The actor is apparently making a cameo in the upcoming sequel to 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'.

Read More

Sorry, Chelsea Handler Fans. She's Not Replacing Craig Ferguson

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Sorry, Chelsea Handler Fans. She's Not Replacing Craig Ferguson

CBS quashed the rumors regarding Handler taking Ferguson's 'Late Late Night' spot

Read More

Jewish Hall of Fame: David Ben-Gurion

April 16, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Jewish Hall of Fame: David Ben-Gurion

Ben-Gurion was the primary founder and first Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Read More

More Headlines