Terahertz detectors could see through your clothes from a mile away

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Someone may soon be able to tell what types material are in your pockets from tens, and possibly thousands, of feet away.

Using terahertz remote sensing, detectors could see through walls, clothing and packaging materials and immediately identify the unique terahertz waves of the materials contained inside, such as explosives or drugs.

Until now, detecting terahertz waves — the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave light — hasn’t been possible from distances more than inches because the waves are absorbed by ambient moisture in the air, killing the signal.

“A lot of other researchers thought that terahertz remote sensing was mission impossible,” said physicist Jingle Liu of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, lead author of the study published July 11 in Nature Photonics.

Full story: Terahertz Detectors Could See Through Your Clothes From a Mile Away –