Colloquium: Daniele Faccio

    Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    Imaging at the speed of light


    Recent advances in CMOS fabrication now provide us with a new generation cameras in which each single pixel is a single photon avalanche diode and contains all the electronics for so-called time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC). These cameras allow obvious applications in the field of quantum imaging or quantum state reconstruction. However, they also provide less obvious applications in classical imaging where we can build upon the picosecond temporal resolution of the TCSPC timing electronics. We will show some of these applications, starting from a 20-billion frames-per-second video of a laser pulse propagating in free space. We will then show more recent work where we use single-photon counting technology to detect and track in real-time objects that are hidden from view, for example behind a wall. We can now track the movement of human beings that are located behind corners that are more than 50 meters away from the laser/detector system and this would seem to be scalable up to much larger distances. We believe that the next generation of “hidden object detectors” will work in combination with AI (machine learning) to allow instantaneous recognition and identification of people, even when these are hidden behind a wall. I will discuss our progess so far in this direction. Extending the concept of a “wall”, I will show ongoing work aimed at using the full space and time information of these cameras to look inside highly diffusive media and build images of objects hidden deep inside strongly scattering and absorbing tissue.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Daniele Faccio is currently professor in physics at Heriot-Watt University. He obtained his degree in physics at the University of Milano (1998), Italy and a PhD in nonlinear optics at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France (2007). He worked for several years in the telecomms industry (2000-2004) before becoming assistant professor at the University of Como, Italy. He moved to Heriot-Watt University in 2010 where he is deputy director of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences and leads the Extreme Light group. His research focuses on two areas: imaging (the topic of this colloquium) and laboratory-based tests of quantum field theories in curved spacetimes.