Infrared Pictures with a Digital Camera

March Meeting 2010


James Riordon, APS
Jason Socrates Bardi, AIP
Phillip Schewe, AIP


Meeting Press Releases

A "Periodic Table" of Biosensors
A Nanoscale Bean-Counter for Viruses
AC/DC Power Converter as Wide as a Human Hair
Blood Clot Glue
Cooperation, Cheating, and the Games that Yeast Play
Heroines of Modern Physics
Highlighted Sessions
Magnetic Tuberculosis Detector
Nanotube Toxicity
New Technique for Measuring the Strength of a Cell
Optimization and Biological Physics
Press Conference Schedule
Solar Cells and Cities of The Future
Solid Metal Batteries
The Flow of Particles in a Room
Topological Insulators
Using DNA as Building Blocks
World's Fastest Transistors

WASHINGTON, D.C. — X-ray images of famous paintings reveal a host of details, such as corrections or underdrawings made by the artist. Such imaging research can be painstaking to set up. Charles Falco of the University of Arizona will show how infrared pictures can be made using relatively simple adaptations to a common digital camera. This is possible since many paints are at least partially transparent to near-IR waves.

A camera sensitive to waves (830-1100 nm) just beyond the visible can reveal details on the canvas that no one has glimpsed in centuries. The trick is replacing the low-pass filter used in many digital cameras (allowing visible light but blocking IR) with a high-pass filter (one allowing IR but blocking visible). Some extra steps in focusing and in setting apertures are necessary for producing accurate pictures. (Copies of Falco’s recent article in Review of Scientific Instruments will be available in the pressroom.)

Related March Meeting Session

Gray arrow   Abstract: Q3.00003 : Imaging in the Infrared

About APS

The American Physical Society is the leading professional organization of physicists, representing more than 48,000 physicists in academia and industry in the United States and internationally. APS has offices in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C. 

About AIP

Headquartered in College Park, MD, the American Institute of Physics is a not-for-profit membership corporation chartered in New York State in 1931 for the purpose of promoting the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics and its application to human welfare.