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Using electromagnetic light in the spectrum that can be seen by photoreceptors in the human eye, is it possible to produce an image of the bones onto the human retina?

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2 Answers 2

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No, visible light does not penetrate far enough into the skin to produce images of the bone. To get a sufficient reflection from the bone, extremely high intensity light is required. But, by that point, you have almost certainly damaged the cells.

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    $\begingroup$ With extremely high intensity light, is it possible to produce an image of the bones onto the human retina? $\endgroup$
    – valor
    Aug 12, 2019 at 2:49
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    $\begingroup$ In principle, with extremely high intensity light, you can produce images of anything. In practice, you will burn both your bones and retina before you see anything useful. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2019 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ What about scattering, even with high intensity light, would there be contrast between the bones and the surrounding flesh? $\endgroup$
    – valor
    Aug 12, 2019 at 3:22
  • $\begingroup$ Your most practical solution is to perform a minor invasive surgery to put an optical fibre near the bone, and then guide light along the fibre. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2019 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ @valor The light from a laser pointer can be seen through your fingers (take care if you try this) but it is scattered so much that you can't see the shadow of the bones. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2019 at 3:29
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Illuminate one side of your hand with an ultrashort pulse of light and view it from the other side through an ultrafast shutter timed so only the unscattered light passes (the scattered light will have a longer path, so arrives later). Similar to:

enter image description here

Source

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  • $\begingroup$ without extra shutter, only with eyes $\endgroup$
    – valor
    Aug 12, 2019 at 4:37

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