Handheld terahertz scanners could soon be sniffing for drugs and explosives, transmitting super-high-speed data, and looking inside your body, based on a new nanoscale T-ray device developed by researchers in the UK and Singapore. The new device can produce a much stronger beam of terahertz radiation than was previously thought possible, and at room temperature to boot.
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California successfully converted sound waves to light radiation by reversing a process that transforms electricity to sound, which is commonly used in cell phones. This is the first time that sound has been converted to light. The findings, which were published this week in Nature Physics, could improve how computer chips, LEDs, and transistors are made, and also have applications in ultrafast materials science and terahertz radiation (T-ray) generation.
The research team initially predicted that the conversion was possible around a year ago, using computer modeling, and has been trying to confirm it in the lab ever since.
Devices using terahertz radiation could lead to applications in security screening, chemical sensing and more
By Gregory MonePosted 05.19.2008 at 9:58 am 3 Comments
Terahertz radiation, or T-rays, can see through clothing, paper, cardboard and numerous other materials, so scientists have been touting their potential for years. A T-ray-based imager could spot concealed weapons hidden under a person's clothes or even identify tumors without inducing any bad side effects.