Terahertz scanners could potentially see through walls, inside pockets and into wallets, but they're either large and expensive, or contain high-powered nanolasers that limit their use. Now a Texas team has a new approach that could use everyday mobile phones, making terahertz-band scanners simple and ubiquitous.
If those new airport X-ray scanners offend your modest sensibilities, you may not want to read this. A new terahertz remote sensor may soon be able to see through walls, packaging materials, and even clothing from thousands of feet away, identifying materials contained inside through their unique spectral signatures.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.