A new device being tested in the University of Waterloo Optometry Clinic may one day help prevent the leading cause of vision loss in older adults – and it all started with a chance conversation among quantum physicists.
Dmitry Pushin, a professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy, was talking to another physicist about his team’s quantum light research when the colleague mentioned that Ben Thompson, a professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science, was studying macular degeneration and how the eye and brain see light.
Pushin’s team, based at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), had been asking the question: “Can people see quantum light with the naked eye?”
When his research team proved the human eye could indeed see quantum light, they wondered: “What can we do with this?”
Across campus, Thompson and his team were researching eye exams, asking: “How do we compare what people think they see to what they actually see?”