Single Photon Detection by Human Eye

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Contrary to the common belief, a single photon perception by a human eye might be possible, says Nature Communications paper "Direct detection of a single photon by humans" by Jonathan N. Tinsley, Maxim I. Molodtsov, Robert Prevedel, David Wartmann, Jofre Espigulé-Pons, Mattias Lauwers and Alipasha Vaziri from University of Vienna, Austria.

From the abstract: "we report that humans can detect a single-photon incident on the cornea with a probability significantly above chance. This was achieved by implementing a combination of a psychophysics procedure with a quantum light source that can generate single-photon states of light. We further discover that the probability of reporting a single photon is modulated by the presence of an earlier photon, suggesting a priming process that temporarily enhances the effective gain of the visual system on the timescale of seconds."

Model for photon-induced priming of single-photon detection probability.

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