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I'm interested in knowing if you could measure a photon and see if it has left a material like silicon, which both the lens and CMOS sensor would contain. This wouldn't work if any nearby buildings had glass windows, so maybe only as a sensor for a plane or something.

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It's not possible to know if the photon has passed through a lens, without detecting the photon. At the moment a photon is detected, it ceases to be a photon.

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