April 19, 2018

Episode 127: Seeing the Invisible

Scientists are using micro-optical devices to detect what animals can see, but we cannot.

AZSCI 127 Invisible A still from the 1933 film adaptation of H.G. Wells' science fiction novel, The Invisible Man.

Light has properties beyond those that we humans can see with our eyes. Stanley Pau and his team develop micro-optical devices that analyze light in various ways for complex imaging and sensing tasks. They currently are developing digital cameras that detect light’s polarization, which some animals see but we do not, using nanofabrication methods to construct tiny polarization filters in front of every pixel of the camera sensor. Their devices will have a broad range of applications, including remote sensing of cloud composition, surveillance to reveal the presence of tanks and missiles against complex backgrounds, and perhaps even remote detection of living things which might be used in the search for life on other planets.

In this episode:

Stanley Pau, Ph.D., Professor of Optical Sciences
Leslie P. Tolbert, Ph.D., Regent’s Professor in Neuroscience

Arizona Science
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