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Human can see an invisible infrared light - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 December 2014 12:05

Any scientist, if you ask him, will say that we can not see infrared light. As X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are beyond the visible spectrum. However, an international team of scientists from the University of Washington found that under certain conditions the retina can perceive infrared light.


Using retinal cells of mice and men, as well as high-powered lasers that emit pulses of infrared light, the researchers found that when the laser light pulses fast, light-sensitive cells in the retina sometimes double whammy of infrared energy. When this happens, the eye can detect light which goes beyond the visible spectrum.

"We use the data obtained in the course of these experiments, to develop a new tool that will allow doctors to examine not only the eye but also to stimulate the parts of the retina to determine whether it is functioning normally, - says senior researcher Vladimir mullet, associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Washington. - We hope that eventually this discovery will have some practical applications. "

The results were published on December 1 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PHAS). In the work involved scientists from Cleveland, Poland, Switzerland and Norway.

The study was initiated after scientists research group reported seeing the occasional flash of green light, working with an infrared laser. Unlike laser pointers, which are used as toys or in lecture halls, a powerful infrared laser, which scientists worked was believed to emit light, invisible to the human eye.

"They were able to see the laser light, which was outside the normal visible range, and we wanted to find out how they were able to see the light, which was supposed to be invisible," - said France Winberg, PhD, and one of the leading authors of the work.

Winberg, mullet and their colleagues studied the scientific literature and raised the posts of people who claimed to see infrared light. Then repeat the previous experiments, in which it occurred, and analyzed the data.

"We experimented with laser pulses of different durations, which delivers the same number of photons, and found that the shorter the pulse, the more likely that people will see it, - explained Winberg. - Although the duration of the pulse was so small that the naked eye can not be their mark, they allow people to see this invisible light. "

As a rule, a particle of light (photon) is absorbed by the retina, which then creates a molecule - photopigment, which begins the process of converting light into vision. Typically, each of the plurality photopigments absorbs one photon.

But if you pack a lot of photons in a short pulse of fast pulsed laser is a chance that while one photopigment catch two photons, and the combined energy of the two particles of light activates the pigment and allow the eye to see what is invisible in the normal state.

"The visible spectrum includes light wave length of 400-720 nm, - explains the mullet. - However, if the molecule of the pigment in the retina at the same time picks up a pair of photons length of 1000 nanometers, the particles are delivered at the same light energy, and that a 500 nanometer photon, which is clearly visible in the visible spectrum. Here's how we can see infrared light. "

Although these researchers first reported that the eye can perceive light so the idea of using a less powerful laser light to make things visible, is not new. The two-photon microscope, for example, using lasers to detect fluorescent molecules in deep tissues. Scientists say they are also working on the use of two-photon approach a new type of ophthalmoscope, a tool that helps physicians to examine the inside of the eye.

The idea is that by emitting infrared laser pulses in the eye, doctors could stimulate the retina to learn more about its structure and function in healthy eyes and help people with retinal diseases such as macular degeneration.


НАЖМИТЕ ЗДЕСЬ ДЛЯ ПРОСМОТРА ВСЕГО СПИСКА НОВОСТЕЙ О НЕОБЫЧНЫХ ЯВЛЕНИЯХ>>>

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