By: 03.19.10

It must be “seeing through sh–” week in the world of science, because here’s another breakthrough on passing light through an object.  Six scientists in Paris have found a way to reconstruct an image from scattered light that has passed through an opaque object.

[Sylvain] Gigan and his colleagues passed light through zinc oxide, which is common in paint. They observed the way the light of a laser scattered as it passed through, and then created a numerical model to describe the result. “This transmission matrix is a map through the medium,” Gigan explains. “Once we have the transmission matrix, it is possible to analyze whatever pattern goes through.”

The process provides the means to put together an image of something on the other side, allowing the researchers to “see” through the zinc oxide layer, even though it is opaque. Reversal is also possible, offering a way to tailor a beam that could pass through opaque material, and then focus. [Physorg]

Gigan said, although the method has its limits, it can work with biological tissue (e.g. for non-invasive medical imaging), fabric, paint, paper, etc.  The magic word there is fabric.  Awww yeah. You may have fooled me back in the 80’s, Boys Life magazine, but I’ll have my X-ray specs all the same.  I can wait.

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