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“Ghost Imaging” with Atoms

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Physicists at The Australian National University have used a technique known as “ghost imaging” to create an image of an object from atoms that never interact with it.

This is the first time that ghost imaging has been achieved using atoms, although it has previously been demonstrated with light, leading to applications being developed for imaging and remote sensing through turbulent environments.

The atom-based result may lead to a new method of quality control in nanoscale manufacturing, including 3D printing at the atomic scale.

Lead researcher A/Prof Andrew Truscott said the experiment, published in Nature, relied on correlated pairs of atoms that were separated by ~6 cm. These were used to generate an image of the ANU logo.

“One atom in each pair was directed towards a mask with the letters “ANU” cut out,” Truscott explained. “Only atoms that pass through the mask reach a ‘bucket’ detector placed behind the mask, which records a ‘ping’ each time an atom hits it. The second atom in the pair records a ‘ping’ along with the atom’s location on a second spatial detector.

“By matching the times of the ‘pings’ from pairs of atoms, we were able to discard all atoms hitting the spatial detector whose partner had not passed through the mask.

“This allowed an image of ‘ANU’ to be recreated, even though – remarkably – the atoms forming...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.