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Jun 27, 2019

New holographic technique opens the way for quantum computation

Posted by in categories: entertainment, holograms, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Photography measures how much light of different color hits the photographic film. However, light is also a wave, and is therefore characterized by the phase. Phase specifies the position of a point within the wave cycle and correlates to depth of information, meaning that recording the phase of light scattered by an object can retrieve its full 3D shape, which cannot be obtained with a simple photograph. This is the basis of optical holography, popularized by fancy holograms in sci-fi movies like Star Wars.

But the problem is that the spatial resolution of the photo/hologram is limited by the wavelength of light, around or just-below 1 μm (0.001 mm). That’s fine for macroscopic objects, but it starts to fail when entering the realm of nanotechnology.

Now researchers from Fabrizio Carbone’s lab at EPFL have developed a method to see how light behaves on tiniest scale, well beyond wavelength limitations. The researchers used the most unusual photographic media: freely propagating . Used in their ultrafast electron microscope, the method can encode in a holographic light pattern trapped in a nanostructure, and is based on an exotic aspect of electron and light interaction.

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