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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:56 PM

A New Tool for Secret Agents—And the Rest of Us

A secret agent is racing against time. He knows a bomb is nearby. He rounds a corner, spots a pile of suspicious boxes in the alleyway, and pulls out his cell phone. As he scans it over the packages, their contents appear onscreen. In the nick of time, his handy smartphone application reveals an explosive device, and the agent saves the day.

Sound far-fetched? In fact it is a real possibility, thanks to tiny inexpensive silicon microchips developed by a pair of electrical engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The chips generate and radiate high-frequency electromagnetic waves, called terahertz (THz) waves, that fall into a largely untapped region of the electromagnetic spectrum—between microwaves and far-infrared radiation—and that can penetrate a host of materials without the ionizing damage of X-rays.

When incorporated into handheld devices, the new microchips could enable a broad range of applications in fields ranging from homeland security to wireless communications to health care, and even touchless gaming. In the future, the technology may lead to noninvasive cancer diagnosis, among other applications.

"Using the same low-cost, integrated-circuit technology that's used to make the microchips found in our cell phones and notepads today, we have made a silicon chip that can operate at nearly 300 times their speed," says Ali Hajimiri, the Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering at Caltech. "These chips will enable a new generation of extremely versatile sensors."

More at: http://www.caltech.edu/content/new-tool-secret-agents-and-rest-us

This strikes me as a very interesting technology.

6 replies, 955 views

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Reply A New Tool for Secret Agents—And the Rest of Us (Original post)
Zorro Dec 2012 OP
darkangel218 Dec 2012 #1
Speck Tater Dec 2012 #2
Sancho Dec 2012 #3
NBachers Dec 2012 #4
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #5
littlemissmartypants Dec 2012 #6

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:05 PM

1. I would like a sensor who detects RWrs, so i could avoid them.

They too operate on a completely different frequency, so its doable.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:13 PM

2. Mr. Spock, scan the planet below for life forms.

 

I always wondered how they did that on Star Trek. Now we know.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:39 PM

3. another use for tachyon particles...

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:53 PM

4. Can this be far behind?

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:23 AM

5. Some things are best left to the imagination n/t



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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:45 PM

6. Yeah!! But does it

detect liars?

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