(NewScientist) A new method of X-ray imaging using light with special quantum properties makes sharper images using less radiation. A major problem with X-ray technology is background radiation — X-rays from other sources that add noise to the image.
Sharon Shwartz at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and his colleagues have found a way around that. Their method works by firing a beam of X-rays into a diamond, the internal structure of which splits the radiation into two beams, each with half the energy of the original. Each particle of light, or photon, in one of the resulting beams has a corresponding photon in the other beam with similar quantum properties.
This setup requires a very strong X-ray beam of a type that can only be provided at large particle accelerators, so it cannot be used in hospitals yet. It could be used in fundamental physics, though, Padgett says, where these sorts of particle pairs can help us learn about how quantum mechanics works.