Shalom Life | October 20, 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 Study Says Diet Soda Can Lead to Diabetes and Obesity Israeli Study Says Diet Soda Can Lead to Diabetes and Obesity TrendingIsraeli Hospital Treats Hamas Leader's Daughter Israeli Hospital Treats Hamas Leader's Daughter TrendingMark Zuckerberg Donates $25 Million to Ebola Research Mark Zuckerberg Donates $25 Million to Ebola Research Trending
 

Sleater-Kinney is Back Together After 10 Years

October 20, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Sleater-Kinney is Back Together After 10 Years

The band is releasing their first album since 2005 and going on tour.

Read More

The Nosh Pit: Vegan Soups and Stews

October 20, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
The Nosh Pit: Vegan Soups and Stews

What's better than comforting and healthy soups and stews on these damp and rainy days?

Read More

Jerry Seinfeld Honors Jay Leno, Wonders Where His Mark Twain Prize Is

October 20, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Jerry Seinfeld Honors Jay Leno, Wonders Where His Mark Twain Prize Is

Seinfeld was one of many comedians that celebrated the former 'Tonight Show' host

Read More

'The Real Housewives of New York' Welcomes Back Bethenny Frankel

October 20, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
'The Real Housewives of New York' Welcomes Back Bethenny Frankel

The Skinnygirl founder will be returning for the seventh season of the popular reality series.

Read More

Known for Chemistry, Israeli Nobel Laureate Also Champions Tech Entrepreneurship

October 20, 2014 | By Alina Dain Sharon, JNS.org
Known for Chemistry, Israeli Nobel Laureate Also Champions Tech Entrepreneurship

Dan Shechtman, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and a candidate in last June's Israeli presidential election, has long championed technological entrepreneurship and its potential to improve lives around the world

Read More

Israeli Study Says Diet Soda Can Lead to Diabetes and Obesity

October 20, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Study Says Diet Soda Can Lead to Diabetes and Obesity

Is this the reason why diet soda drinkers are often overweight?

Read More

Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits

October 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Report Claims Nazi War Criminals Received Millions in U.S. Social Security Benefits

Investigation by Associated Press finds that dozens of Nazis collected payments as part of a deal to force them to leave the U.S. voluntarily

Read More

Mango Under Fire For Selling 'SS Blouse'

October 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Mango Under Fire For Selling 'SS Blouse'

The Jewish-founded fashion company has faced increased criticism this week after unveiling a new shirt that boasts a lightning-bolt motif

Read More

More Headlines