Interdisciplinary Instrumentation Colloquium

Peter Denes, "Electrons, Photons, Neurons. Probing minds (,) seeing small"

The microscope is a prime example of Interdisciplinary Instrumentation, and the last 300 years of development have focused largely on improving optics and making brighter illumination sources. This proved to be successful thanks to the human eye as an analog detector (the eye has high sensitivity and very large dynamic range) with direct connection to a high-performance image processor (the human brain). The advent of digital photography (film) made it possible to wavelength-shift images formed by higher energy probes (X-rays, electrons, …) while still retaining the original detection and image processing system. Microelectronics, and its associated technology, has created a new era of high-speed analog photography, with solid state detectors and image processors. This talk will present some recent developments in detector systems for microscopies of atoms and molecules. Finally, opportunities to use the same kind of technology to better understand the previous-generation image processor (the brain) will be discussed.
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