Talk about taking a dim view of things. Researchers have obtained ultrasharp images of weakly illuminated objects using a bare minimum of photons: mathematically stitching together information from single particles of light recorded by each pixel of a solid-state detector.

The achievement is likely to support studies of fragile biological materials, such as the human eye, that could be damaged or destroyed by higher levels of illumination. The development could also have applications for military surveillance, such as in a spy camera that records a scene with a minimum of illumination to elude detection.

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