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'T-rays' may lead to new security sensors
[February 06, 2008]

'T-rays' may lead to new security sensors


(UPI Science News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) A British-Spanish study of a type of radiation known as T-rays might lead to a new generation of sensors for detecting explosives and poisons.

The researchers from Imperial College London and the universities of Bath, Madrid and Zaragoza discovered T-rays -- electromagnetic waves in the electromagnetic spectrum's far infrared section that have a wavelength 500 times longer than visible light -- can be guided along the surface of a specially designed material known as a metamaterial.

T-rays have the potential to revolutionize security screening for dangerous materials such as explosives, said Stefan Maier of ICL, who led the study with Steve Andrews of the University of Bath.

Until now it hasn't been possible to exert the necessary control and guidance over pulses of this kind of radiation for it to have been usable in real world applications, Maier said. We have shown with our material that it is possible to tightly guide T-rays along a metal sheet, possibly even around corners, increasing their suitability for a wide range of situations.


The research is detailed in the journal Nature Photonics.

Copyright ? 2008 United Press International

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