Using only a few pixel sensors, university researchers are discovering a new way of imaging things in 3D.

3D Ghost Faces

A team of researchers at the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy just published a paper in Science that details how they managed to use an altered style of “ghost imaging” photography to create accurate three-dimensional images.

While a normal camera uses a many megapixel sensor to collect location and intensity information about incoming light, creating a picture in the process, ghost imaging creates an image by collecting information about the light that didn’t hit the object.

Usually this process still involves a camera. Scientists split a laser beam, creating a paired light source, and place a traditional camera in the path of one beam and the subject with a single-pixel sensor nearby in the path of the other. The sensor gauges the intensity of light bouncing off of the subject, and the camera then measures the difference in intensity between that light and the beam it receives, creating an image from the results.

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