Feihu Xu, University of Science and Technology of China
Every time you take a photo, photons strike different parts of your image sensor in different quantities. In daytime, your sensor detects more than a billion photons, which are more than 1000 photons per pixel for a basic one-megapixel camera. Can you take a photo with one photon per pixel? I will address how to perform accurate imaging at a light level of one photon per pixel. Our approach achieves high photon efficiency by using a computational algorithm that exploits the physics of photon-counting measurements and the spatially-structured correlations in natural scenes. I will discuss how to apply this approach for long-range 3D imaging and extreme optical imaging (e.g., non-line-of-sight imaging). Our research is related to two important Physics questions in imaging science: (1) How much information does a photon have? (2) What is the ultimate photon-sensitivity limit to recover an image?