Phase Retrieval with Application to Optical Imaging: A contemporary overview

Yoav Shechtman, Yonina C. Eldar, Oren Cohen, Henry Nicholas Chapman, Jianwei Miao, Mordechai Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

834 Scopus citations


The problem of phase retrieval, i.e., the recovery of a function given the magnitude of its Fourier transform, arises in various fields of science and engineering, including electron microscopy, crystallography, astronomy, and optical imaging. Exploring phase retrieval in optical settings, specifically when the light originates from a laser, is natural since optical detection devices [e.g., charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras, photosensitive films, and the human eye] cannot measure the phase of a light wave. This is because, generally, optical measurement devices that rely on converting photons to electrons (current) do not allow for direct recording of the phase: the electromagnetic field oscillates at rates of ∼1015Hz, which no electronic measurement device can follow. Indeed, optical measurement/detection systems measure the photon flux, which is proportional to the magnitude squared of the field, not the phase. Consequently, measuring the phase of optical waves (electromagnetic fields oscillating at 1015Hz and higher) involves additional complexity, typically by requiring interference with another known field, in the process of holography.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7078985
Pages (from-to)87-109
Number of pages23
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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