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New Technology – Cameras Capture Colors Invisible to the Human Eye

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Technology is improving day by day. This technology discovered by Tel Aviv University enables cameras to identify colors that ordinary cameras can’t recognize. Even the human eye is incapable of recognizing these colors. 

According to them, this new technology can be used in cancer detection, computer gaming, astronomy, photography, medicine, and security. Apparently, it allows us to image gasses and substances like Hydrogen, Carbon, and Sodium. They all consist of biological compounds and unique colors in the infrared spectrum that aren’t visible to the human eye and standard cameras. The research results were published in the ‘Laser & Photonics Reviews’, October 2020 issue. 

Dr. Michael Mrejen, Dr. Assaf Levanon, Prof. Haim Suchowski, and Yoni Erlich from the Department of Physics of Condensed Material in TAU conducted this research. Humans only pick up a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which consists of photons from 400-700 nanometer wavelengths of blue and red. 

It includes microwaves, X-rays, radio waves, and more. UV radiation is below 400 nanometers, and infrared radiation is above 700 nanometers. These particular parts consist of colors that were hidden from the human eye until now. These colors are significant since materials have colors that express their own unique signature.

This new technology is cheaper when compared to existing infrared detection technologies. It is also efficient in converting photons of light in the mid-infrared region to the visible area. It is done at a frequency that enables the human eye and an ordinary camera to pick it up. 

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Isn’t that just amazing? Researchers have registered a patent and are developing this new technology using a grant they received from the Innovation Authority’s KAMIN project. 

How cameras detect color.

Most sensors use filters to view the light in the three primary colors to get a full-color image with a camera. Once the camera records the three colors, it combines them to create the entire spectrum. An alternative method is to rotate a series of blue, green, and red filters in front of a single sensor.

How images are produced by three colors.

Every pixel on a computer screen comprises three small dots of compounds named phosphors encircled by a black mask. When hit by the electron beams produced by the electron guns at the tube’s rear, the phosphors shed light. The three separate phosphors produce red, green, and blue light, respectively.

Every primary color doesn’t receive the same fraction of the total area because the human eye is more sensitive to green light compared to red and blue light; therefore, there are more green pixels.

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