Applied Physics

Revealing the Invisible

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Science  16 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5584, pp. 1097
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5584.1097a

Terahertz radiation, or T rays, lies in the relatively unexplored and little-used region of the electromagnetic spectrum between the far infrared and microwave wavelengths. This non-ionizing radiation provides the potential of submillimeter resolution and can pass straight through plastic, paper, and clothing. Much research is being directed toward the development of T-ray sources and detectors, particularly for applications in medical imaging and security scanning systems.

Ferguson et al. present a technique using a pulsed T-ray source. By taking two-dimensional snapshots at various angles with the T-rays incident upon samples obscured by opaque materials, images were generated using conventional computational tomographic techniques to form a three-dimensional reconstruction of the hidden object. The ability simultaneously to probe the sample's optical properties should provide a powerful technique for noninvasive security screening and medical diagnostics. — ISO

Optics Lett.27, 1312 (2002).

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