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Imaging Goes 4D

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4D imaging takes advantage of unused photons, further maximizing each pulse that leaves a laser.


3D imaging has taken off, with applications in cellphones, cars, robots, and more. Now, companies and researchers are looking to what’s next: 4D. While 3D imaging captures information about width, height, and depth (x, y, and z), 4D imaging adds another dimension and incorporates time, velocity, or light-matter interactions. Going 4D makes economic sense; the pulses that leave a laser system are expensive. With each laser pulse, many photons are sent out, but only a fraction return to be detected. But more return than are needed for 3D imaging. These extra photons could provide additional information.

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Published: May 2020

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