Ann Conkle
Jan 20, 2012

T-rays technology could lead to hand-held medical scanners

Scientists have developed a new way to create electromagnetic Terahertz (THz) waves or T-rays -- the technology behind full-body security scanners. The researchers behind the study say their new stronger and more efficient continuous wave T-rays could be used to make better medical scanning gadgets and may one day lead to innovations similar to the 'tricorder' scanner used in Star Trek. In the study, researchers made T-rays into a much stronger directional beam than was previously thought possible, and have done so at room-temperature conditions. This is a breakthrough that should allow future T-ray systems to be smaller, more portable, easier to operate, and much cheaper than current devices. The scientists say that the T-ray scanner could be a portable sensing, computing and data communications device, since the waves are capable of detecting biological phenomena such as increased blood flow around tumors. Future scanners could also perform fast wireless data communication to transfer a high volume of information on the measurements it makes.