Nonlinear optics make sharper wide-angle images

APRIL 29, 2009--Have you ever zoomed in on a scene such as a bird perched on a deck and wished that you could capture the whole panoramic view, rather than just an image of the object you have zoomed on to increase clarity?

Apr 29th, 2009

APRIL 29, 2009--Have you ever zoomed in on a scene such as a bird perched on a deck and wished that you could capture the whole panoramic view, rather than just an image of the object you have zoomed on to increase clarity?

Such thoughts represent the tradeoffs of traditional imaging. Imaging in modern digital cameras is essentially a tradeoff between viewing angle and level of detail. While digital processors inside modern cameras can stitch together multiple zoomed-in images, there's a limit to how wide a view they can retain.

However, a new type of lens could change all that. In lenses, including cameras and the human eye, light is limited by the number of rays reflecting off the object that hit the lens. Fine details are typically lost because rays are too weak and fade, or because they are deflected off the surface of the lens.

With the new class of lenses, which use nonlinear optical materials, these lost rays can be reclaimed as rays mix inside the material. The downside is that the image is more distorted.

A team at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ, USA) believes that they have come up with a way to undistort the image, which they say yields a wide-angled zoomed in scene. Jason Fleischer, the assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton leading the project, that in such an image all parts of the scene will be zoomed in at the same time.

For more information, go to: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/pues-ntt042109.php

-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com

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