Random Idea

Ok this really is an idea that’s fresh in my head, i couldn’t sleep and this
started swimming around..

Multi-Spectrum Imaging: Quantitively assigning the entire EM
spectrum to a corrasponding RGB value and building some sort of multifunctioning
camera that can capture all the different types of shots then transform them
into this image.
An added thought was to assign shades of gray to the entire
sonic spectrum then apply this ‘shader’ to the same image..

Different Imaging techniques in use

Purely experimental, but if it could be done would demonstrate ways of
visualising multiple areas of electromagnetism at the same time.


3 thoughts on “Random Idea

  1. You’d struggle to do it with one camera!

    You may need multiple cameras working in parallel to image the whole EM spectrum like this.

    I think most wavelengths outside the visible spectrum can’t be refracted through a typical lens.
    And even if they could, if you tried to focus the whole spectrum through one lens you would end up with chromatic abberation due to the huge difference in wavelength across the spectrum (think of a prism), which would mean the focal point of the lens varies depending what wavelength of light is passing through it. This isn’t a big issue when dealing with visibile light where the range is something like 390 – 750 nm¹, but the entire EM spectrum ranges from radio waves at 100s of metres, down to gamma rays at mere picometres².

    That said, most proper telescopes use mirrors anyway but…

    The Rayleigh criterion³ sets a lower limit on the angular resolution of any optical device as being proportional to the wavelength of the light divided by the diameter of the aperture. This means that to achieve the same resolution with double the wavelength, you need to double the size of the aperture.

    And… the detection method also varies across the spectrum. You can use CCDs for visible, but you need different sensors to pick up most of the rest of the spectrum.

    So it could probably be done, but I’m picturing the Lovell telecope at Jodrell bank, with a bunch of progressively smaller ‘scopes sellotaped to the side. That would be ok for viewing very distant objects where there isn’t much parallax error between each imaging device.

    Then all you need is some clever computer magic to splice all the images together! This is pretty much what you see done in astronomy more and more these days. Where they will overlay images from different telescopes to create a new picture, like in this one!


    1 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_spectrum
    2 – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/EM_Spectrum_Properties_edit.svg
    3 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh_criterion#Explanation

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