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Proceedings Paper

Vision and the single photon
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Paper Abstract

The human visual system has an amazing sensitivity-even a single photon catch can trigger the release of a signal in a rod photoreceptor cell under certain circumstances. However, behaviorally it requires on an average 5-8 photons for a human to "see" a flash of light. This discrepancy is due to the intrinsic "dark noise" in the visual system. Various aspects of human visual sensitivity to single photons are reviewed and discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5866, The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?, (4 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.613055
Show Author Affiliations
Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Univ. of Missouri/St. Louis (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5866:
The Nature of Light: What Is a Photon?
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

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