Posts Tagged ‘mit’

Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck by Light, Could Yield New Sensors

MIT scientists have discovered that graphene, a material consisting of one-atom thick sheets of carbon, produces electric current when struck by light. The researchers say the finding could impact a number of fields, including photography:

Graphene “could be a good photodetector” because it produces current in a different way than other materials used to detect light. It also “can detect over a very wide energy range,” Jarillo-Herrero says. For example, it works very well in infrared light, which can be difficult for other detectors to handle. That could make it an important component of devices from night-vision systems to advanced detectors for new astronomical telescopes.

No word on when DSLRs will start packing graphene sensors.

(via MIT via ExtremeTech)


P.S. Did you know that graphene was first discovered in 2004 after a thin layer of pencil lead was pulled off using some ordinary tape?


Image credit: Illustration by AlexanderAlUS

Long Exposure Light Painting, MIT-style


Here’s a long exposure light painting tutorial by a couple MIT Media Lab students. In addition to teaching the basics of the technique, they also show off a robot arm that they programmed to do extremely precise light painting photos and animations.
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Footage Captured at One Trillion Frames per Second

According to the smart folks over at MIT, this video shows footage that was captured at an unbelievable one trillion frames per second. It appears to show some kind of light pulse traveling through some kind of object. Here’s a confusing explanation found on the project’s website:

We use a pico-second accurate detector (single pixel). Another option is a special camera called a streak camera that behaves like an oscilloscope with corresponding trigger and deflection of beams. A light pulse enters the instrument through a narrow slit along one direction. It is then deflected in the perpendicular direction so that photons that arrive first hit the detector at a different position compared to photons that arrive later. The resulting image forms a “streak” of light. Streak cameras are often used in chemistry or biology to observe milimeter sized objects but rarely for free space imaging.

In November 2010, we reported that MIT scientists were working on a camera that would be able to see around corners using echos of light. Well, this is that camera. Insane.

Femtosecond Transient Imaging (via Reddit)

Photos with People Are Most Memorable, Landscapes Are Least

A group of neuroscientists at MIT recently conducted a study to try and determine what makes photographs memorable. After gathering about 10,000 diverse photos, they showed a series of them to human subjects and asked them to identify whenever a photo was a repeat of one previously shown. They found that photos containing people in them are the most memorable, while natural landscapes are least memorable and easily forgotten.

What’s more, the scientists used the findings to develop a computer algorithm that can quantify how memorable a particular photo is. Cameras in the future might be able to tell you the memorability of photos as you’re taking them!

(via PhysOrg via Photoxels)


Image credits: Photographs by the Oliva and Torralba labs

MIT Camera Uses Echos of Light to See Around Corners

The “femtosecond transient imaging system” is a camera being developed by researchers at MIT that uses high intensity light from a femtosecond laser to capture images from around corners. Once the laser beam bounces around the scene and returns to the sensor, algorithms are used to turn the time and distance information into a representation of the scene.
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A Day in the Life of the MIT Community

A Day in the Life of MIT (ADITL) is a neat project in which members of the MIT community take pictures on a particular day and then pool the photographs together to provide a snapshot of what life was like on that day. ADITL 2010 happened yesterday, and hundreds of people contributed images to the collection.
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MIT Scientists Stuff Barcodes into Bokeh

Barcodes can be found everywhere, but using existing barcode systems with ordinary cameras require that the barodes be printed large or that the camera be placed close to the code. MIT’s Bokode project is a new system that magically stuffs barcodes into bokeh, allowing ordinary cameras to be used as barcode readers from a distance. The codes are contained in little points of light that only turn into codes when viewed through an out-of-focus camera lens. You’ve probably seen how little bright points of light grow into larger and fainter points of light when you defocus.
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