The researchers made the first video of the laser bouncing back from the mirror.
Watch the laser fly in the air Guild stage a dramatic battle in sci-fi movies
Science fiction movies, but not easy to see in real life.
In order to observe the laser or any other light source, the photon from it must hit your eyes directly.
But because the laser photons are in a tight
Focusing beams, all in the same direction, you can see them only if the laser hits an object that reflects a part of the light and produces a visible point.
A small number of photons are scattered from the air molecules, but they are usually too weak to see.
You can bypass the problem by firing a laser through smoke, scattering more molecules out of photons-but that's not what we see in the movie.
"The challenge is to have a movie where the light moves directly in the air-" says Heriot's ginarella garlippi --"
University of Edinburgh Watt.
"We want to observe the light without interacting with it, just watching it pass.
To achieve this, she and her colleagues have built a camera that is sensitive enough to receive these scattered photons.
It is built from 32 × 32 detector grids that record the time the photons arrive at them with incredible precision, equivalent to capturing about 20 billion frames per second.
The team arranged the camera to shoot one side-
View a green laser shot arranged in a mirror.
By firing 2 million pulses in 10 minutes and subtracting background noise, they were able to accumulate enough air
Scattered photons in the camera track the path of the laser when the laser bounces.
"What comes out is a frame of light going through our system," Gariepy said . ".
In their video, this location data is covered on a background photo taken with a normal camera and painted green to match the true color of the laser.
This experiment was originally a purely research challenge, but Gariepy believes that their cameras can have practical applications.
In another experiment, the team took a focused laser to ionize the air molecules to produce Plasma.
Similar settings can help people study the properties of this plasma by observing the evolution of the plasma over time, Gariepy said.
Accurate timing data can also be used to measure the distance of the photon movement, an effect previously used to take pictures around the corner.
"It may take about an hour to get an image in a corner," Gariepy said, but the ability to quickly capture multiple images can generate movies from corners.
"With our camera, this can be done in a few seconds.
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