Opaque Barriers Might Be Seen Through? Scientists Have Some Early Successes
Scientists have discovered that by recording wavelengths from visible light, it is possible to see through non-transparent material like glass or wood.
According to the Nature, physicists at University of Twente have discovered that by adapting the techniques from astronomy, opaque barriers can be looked through. Efforts from the scientists are continued as their next target is to form a method to reassemble the dispersed light in order to produce a comprehensible image on the other side of the material.
Like many historical inventions, this discovery was also accompanied with an accident and a surprise. It was 2007 when the scientist Allard Mosk was working with his fellow Ivo Vellekoop on a project; they tried to shine a beam of visible light through a glass slide with white paint over it. They focused the beam on the other side of slide and were pretty much sure that this won’t work. But it did.
The scientists had accomplished a revolutionary discovery with an unfocused activity. “I really just wanted to try this because it had never been done before,” Mosk says.
They used a spatial light modulator which was meant to control the transmission of light beam particles. Additionally, a detector was used on the opposite side of slide to pick up the light transmission. Wavelengths recorded by the detector were than monitored by a computer.
Mosk’s experiment became the first independent study on the subject which was followed by another study. The two independent studies paved the way for further studies including the successful attempts by scientists in optical focusing through thin tissues like mouse ears.
Scientists are endeavoring to attain the ability to see through the complex biological tissues. And if that happens, it would mean no need of surgeries to examine the person’s internal organs. This is possible because high resolution images can be produced using visible light, a capacity which x-rays do not have.
Wavelengths of visible light interact with organic molecules which serves both as advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is, as I said, high resolution images and the disadvantage is that its photons can dispersed which can make the image useless.
So the challenges are countless but the possibilities are there. If the technology becomes practicable for general use, it will be a blessing for medical treatments.