It appears our favorite comic book superhero’s X-ray vision may become a reality we will be able to experience for ourselves, thanks to two scientific advances made by researchers at University of Texas at Dallas. One involves tapping into an unused range in the electromagnetic spectrum, while the other is new microchip technology. Typically the electromagnetic spectrum corresponds to wavelengths of energy, whether they be in the form of AM/FM radio signals, microwaves, or infrared for night vision. With a new approach, the researchers learned that terahertz (a wavelength falling between microwave and infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum) could produce images created with signals without having to use several lenses inside a device.
According to Dr. Kenneth O, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence:
We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life-saving medical applications. The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all.
The second advance combines microchips with CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) and terahertz means future cellphones with this chip and receiver can see through objects. These chips means that entire imaging systems could be mass-produced quickly. Dr. O and his team are focused on uses in the distance range of less than four inches to address the serious privacy implications.
This finding is absolutely mind-blowing.
Header Image Credit: Chris O’Shea