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Nanotechnology breakthrough could impact on life-like telepresense

05 September 2012

The current crop of "3D" or "Holographic" telepresence systems are neither of those, but are based on the Pepper’s Ghost illusion. Projection films such as Musion's Eyeliner are combined with projectors and mirrors to create life-sized and life-like images. A development reported by assistant professor Jayan Thomas in the journal Nano Letters suggests that these flims could be made even more efficient.

Thomas is working with gold nanoparticles and studying their properties when they are shrunk into a small size regime called nanoclusters. Nanoparticles are already microscopic in size, and a nanometer is about 1/80000 of the thickness of a single strand of human hair. Nanoclusters are on the small end and nanocrystals are on the larger end of the nanoregime. Nano clusters are so small that the laws of physics that govern the world people touch and smell aren’t often observed.
Thomas and his team found that nanoclusters developed by adding atoms in a sequential manner could provide interesting optical properties. It turns out that the gold nanoclusters exhibit qualities that may make them suitable for creating surfaces that would diffuse laser beams of high energy.
Apart from applications in defense in protecting pilots from laser beams, Thomas also thinks that these nanoclusters could improve the sensitivity of semi-relfective films to light.
This could lead to Pepper’s Ghost style solutions which require much less of a controlled lighting environment to create the illusion and make them considerably more practical in the installed environment rather than just as stage gimmicks for rock stars and CEOs.

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