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Highly Directional Terahertz Laser Demonstrated

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the break-out-the-tinfoil-underware dept.

Privacy 125

eldavojohn writes "A new paper published this week in the journal Nature Materials announces a successful demonstration of highly directional terahertz semiconductor lasers. You might not think it's a big deal that some Harvard and University of Leeds researchers (funded partially by the US Air Force) figured out how to better direct lasers; but this means the ability to see what's in someone's pockets and clothing, at a distance of possibly hundreds of meters, or farther. The big benefit is that they are lower in energy than X-Rays and are less invasive, since they cannot pass through water or metal. Coming soon to an airport near you or buzzing around on board a drone in civilian airspace?"

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One thing this technology will never be able to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182654)

Tell if you are just glad to see me.

Not without adding an fMRI.

i came first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182658)

bye~!

Plus flying cars? (3, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182662)

The Wired article has a sidebar with "Featured Articles", one of them is "Flying Cars are Coming".

Does this tell anyone about how soon this laser will have real world applications?

Re:Plus flying cars? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182794)

Does this tell anyone about how soon this laser will have real world applications?

      I guess it all depends on which side of the fence you're on. I consider myself open minded. I can see regular cars equipped with these, shooting down the flying cars with a snigger. On the other hand, I can see them mounted on flying cars too. Strafing runs through heavy traffic could make for a very interesting drive to work in the mornings.

      Ahhh, so many possibilities.

Violence-minded people... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182934)

"Strafing runs through heavy traffic could make for a very interesting drive..."

U.S. society: Violence-minded people want to spend taxpayer money for endless war.

Re:Violence-minded people... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182996)

Well, it works both ways. In my entertainment, I'm violence-minded, but in reality, if I were ever to harm another human being, politicians -- especially those who start wars -- would be towards the top of my list.

Re:Violence-minded people... (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183150)

U.S. society: Violence-minded people want to spend taxpayer money for endless war.

      Oh no, this would be privately funded! :)

Re:Violence-minded people... (1)

xmundt (415364) | more than 4 years ago | (#33186038)

Greetings and Salutations...
          Reminds me of a great wargame from the late 70s/early 80s called "Car Wars". Basic idea was that you COULD have that gatlin gun mounted on your vehicle, and, blow away the other idiots on the road. There was also a crossover with AD&D where, among other fun things (can you say Fireball Spell?) you could invoke a mechanic demon who was outside time so could rebuild your entire car while it was traveling down the road at 120 MPH.
          Be careful what you wish for, though. Remember that no matter how good a shot you think you are...there are at least a dozen people around you that are better.
          Pleasant dreams
          dave mundt

Re:Plus flying cars? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182902)

Does this tell anyone about how soon this laser will have real world applications?

Especially since the terrahertz waves still won't show what's hidden in folds of flesh, beneath pendulous breasts, or in body cavities. If the objective is real security through scanning people (as opposed to costly and annoying theatrics), it would have to be a lot more intrusive.

Re:Plus flying cars? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182950)

Oh, the terrahertz waves show everything. It's only the terahertz waves which are that limited.

SCNR

Re:Plus flying cars? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183456)

real world applications?

My cat would love this thing. You should see how she chases the laser all over the house.

And what fun for me if she catches this one!

I for one... (1)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182678)

Welcome our new spy laser wielding overlords.

In related news... (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182696)

The big benefit is that they are lower in energy than X-Rays and are less invasive, since they cannot pass through water or metal.

...sharks disappointed.

Re:In related news... (2, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183212)

Not the sharks with frickin' jetpacks.

Re:In related news... (2, Funny)

Shark (78448) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183966)

There's a jetpack? I didn't get the memo...

Re:In related news... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185670)

Sharks can still use them, as long as the laser is head mounted and they point it at their above-water target, But I think the sharks would prefer one of these [amazing1.com] anyways.

Oh God (3, Funny)

CasualFriday (1804992) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182704)

So now airport security officers can see my genitals from hundreds of feet away?

Re:Oh God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182734)

Unless you're wearing tinfoil underwear.

Re:Oh God (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182792)

Wearing tinfoil underwear will be a detainable offense - you could be hiding something in there! Like your dignity, for instance.

Re:Oh God (3, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183142)

Given that even water would deflect these lasers, peeing yourself should be a sufficient means of blocking them.

Re:Oh God (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33183608)

Well, that's a relief.

Re:Oh God (1)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184102)

Well, that's a relief.

I'm sure this news is slowly making its way into the bowels of the TSA. When they find out, they'll shit themselves.

Re:Oh God (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185680)

Hm... new fashion: clothing with embedded water-holding cells.

There's gotta be a backlash against all these privacy-compromising technologies at some point.

Part of the whole reason we wear clothes is to protect our privacy and prevent people from seeing what's underneath.

Nobody has any permissible reason to see through our clothing without a search warrant. We need to fix our clothing so these new technology toys are no longer capable of seamlessly compromising our privacy.

Re:Oh God (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185216)

Speaking of tinfoil underwear, NPR had something on special underwear you could buy that would have notes just for your TSA screener to read, like "for your eyes only" or "contents larger than they appear" or some customizable message.

OK, so it was one of the fake stories on "Wait,wait, don't tell me", but it still sounded awesome... and only a matter of time...

Re:Oh God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182784)

Hot, isn't it! No need to unzip to flash anymore. I hope lots of kids get these too.

Re:Oh God (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182848)

So now airport security officers can see my genitals from hundreds of feet away?

Even with that technology, I still don't think we will be able to find your genitalia. Sorry.

Re:Oh God (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182920)

Dude, I'm 33 years old. I'm married and I've got two kids.

It has been years since anyone has been interested in my genitals, and I kind of miss the attention.

No kidding. (1)

pushf popf (741049) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183066)

Dude, I'm 33 years old. I'm married and I've got two kids. It has been years since anyone has been interested in my genitals, and I kind of miss the attention.

I think there are a lot of people with delusions of being supermodels.

Most of the people I see on planes are ugly as hell and getting me to stare at them naked all day on a scanner would require some serious compensation.

Re:No kidding. (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183220)

Yeah, if you have to be a scanner, definitely be a scanner for the first class passenger line.

Re:No kidding. (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184022)

Because old rich people are attractive?

Re:No kidding. (2, Interesting)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184356)

Their trophy girlfriends tend to be. I mean, there's no avoiding scanning some of the wrong sex unless you're bi, so assuming you're a horny male heterosexual screener, your odds are best with the first class passengers.

Re:Oh God (2, Funny)

CasualFriday (1804992) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183100)

This is unbelievably depressing. also, I love how there is a button at the bottom of your post that says "parent".

Re:Oh God (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183022)

Yes, but you can still hunt them down and beat them up in the parking lot when they make jokes.

Re:Oh God (1)

Chih (1284150) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183266)

No, you'll still have to be pretty close ;)

Re:Oh God (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184368)

So now airport security officers can see my genitals from hundreds of feet away?

Worse, they'll know who to pull out of line so they can nick the most change during the pat down.

PSA (1, Informative)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182706)

For non-visible wavelenghts (or anything near it) it's not a LASER it's a MASER http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MASER [wikipedia.org]

Re:PSA (5, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182820)

The "M" in MASER stands for "microwave." The waves used here are non-visible, sure, but they're shorter than microwaves, closer to what's usually called infrared. And "laser," no longer capitalized, has entered the language as a word for any device that emits a beam of coherent EM radiation of whatever frequency -- thus you'll hear "IR laser," "X-ray laser," "gamma laser," etc. It would be pretty silly to insist on a separate word for each frequency band.

Re:PSA (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182936)

LASER is no longer capitalized? Since when? I realize we tend to use Internet English (one rule of grammar: "fuck it") but when did we start activelt discouraging the use of CAPS LOCK?

Re:PSA (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183228)

LASER is no longer capitalized? Since when? I realize we tend to use Internet English (one rule of grammar: "fuck it") but when did we start activelt discouraging the use of CAPS LOCK?

SINCE WE HAD TO GET PEOPLE TO STOP SHOUTING!

Re:PSA (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183424)

I USE CAPS LOCK AT WORK FOR DRAFTING.

No, seriously, I do have it on most of the time at work, but that's because it's for work. I'm not usually ready TO UNLEASH THE FURY.

Re:PSA (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183606)

Laser hasn't been capitalized in a really long time. Capitalization only applies when it's an acronym and abbreviations, laser on the other hand is a word in its own right.

Re:PSA (1)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184200)

Capitalization only applies when it's an acronym and abbreviations, laser on the other hand is a word in its own right

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

Re:PSA (1)

JDevers (83155) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184776)

Sure, it is an acronym...but the minute the word itself entered common vernacular, it might MEAN L.A.S.E.R., but it is spelled laser.

Re:PSA (1)

Soldrinero (789891) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183850)

I'm a physicist; I work in a laser lab. I never capitalize 'laser', and I've never seen it capitalized in any contemporary publication. Frankly, explicitly capitalizing acronyms gets really annoying once they enter common usage. It just gets in the way of effective communication.

Re:PSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33184484)

I would say radar also falls under this category.

Re:PSA (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184734)

And sonar, and scuba. Any others?

Re:PSA (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183014)

The waves used here are non-visible, sure, but they're shorter than microwaves, closer to what's usually called infrared.

So we likely call them lasers because no one wants to figure out how you'd pronounce iaser?

Re:PSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33183096)

They're THz waves... clearly, it's a taser. :D

Re:PSA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33184128)

Don't THz me, bro!

Re:PSA (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183122)

Just because people are lazy doesn't mean LASER it stops being an acronym. Even if when everyone writes it lowercase it is still wrong simply because of this fact.

Re:PSA (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183208)

Just because people are lazy doesn't mean LASER it stops being an acronym. Even if when everyone writes it lowercase it is still wrong simply because of this fact.

Incorrect. When it reaches the point that everyone does it that way, it's standard usage, and doing it differently is archaic. English has no central standardization body to make authoritative rules on the language (unlike French), so in English, "standard usage" and "correct" are synonymous, regardless of historic arguments about how it might have been done differently in the past.

Re:PSA (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183448)

And even the formal standards bodies for English are in favor of laser.

Re:PSA (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184092)

I too feel that it's pointlessly pedantic to distinguish such groups. But if it isn't, why don't we just call it EMASER, where the EM stands for electromagnetic.

Re:PSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33186074)

Because the L in laser stands for "light", which happens to be composed of EM waves, even if he human eyes can't see them?

Re:PSA (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184574)

So what you're saying is this is more of a TASER.

I suppose the upside is that when they start using this to snoop on people, it'll confuse the fuck out of police departments.

Re:PSA (1)

BraksDad (963908) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185520)

...It would be pretty silly to insist on a separate word for each frequency band.

Especially since the frequency bands are somewhat arbitrary to nature. What is the "Visible" Spectrum? There are just a few life forms that may argue with us.

Re:PSA (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183256)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/laser [merriam-webster.com]

  1 : a device that utilizes the natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between energy levels for generating a beam of coherent electromagnetic radiation usually in the ultraviolet, visible, or infrared regions of the spectrum
2 : something resembling a laser beam in accuracy, speed, or intensity

Re:PSA (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184252)

From OED Online:

1. Any device that is capable of emitting a very intense, narrow, parallel beam of highly monochromatic and coherent light (or other electromagnetic radiation), either continuously or in pulses, and operates by using light to stimulate the emission of more light of the same wavelength and phase by atoms or molecules that have been excited by some means. Orig. treated as the name of a particular kind of maser (optical maser) emitting visible light, laser is now the general term for all devices of this kind, whatever the wavelength of the emitted radiation.

1960 N.Y. Times 8 July 7/6 The Hughes device is an optical maser, or ‘laser’, (the ‘l’ standing for ‘light’). 1960 Aviation Week 18 July 97/2 The optical Maser is also referred to by the term Laser. 1960 Daily Tel. 29 Dec. 9/4 The laser, a device for amplifying light which could conceivably be developed to produce a searchlight beam that would reach the moon, is still a paper project as far as British scientists are concerned. 1961 Jrnl. Appl. Physics XXXII. 178 [Paper received 13 June 1960.] The Fabry-Perot interferometer has been suggested for use as a high~mode LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) resonator. 1961 Observer 19 Feb. 5/2 The new ‘laser’, as it is called, uses a mixture of helium and neon gas to produce a continuous beam of infra-red radiation... Previous devices have produced only brief pulses of light. 1962 Science Survey III. 27 The principle of the maser has been extended also to solid materials and, in addition, it has been found possible to make a light maser (or ‘laser’) that produces, not microwaves, but visible light. 1963 Electronics Weekly 2 Jan. 1/4 The new high-power laser uses a six-inch by half-inch ruby. 1963 Monsanto Mag. Mar. 9/2 Early lasers absorbed energy from a strong burst of ordinary white light, organized it, then expelled a powerful beam of a different kind of light. 1963 Daily Tel. 24 Oct. 19/4 Already in metal working the term ‘Gillette power’ is used as a measure of the laser's metal-vaporising capabilities. It represents the number of stacked razor blades through which a beam can bore its way. 1964, 1966 [see HOLOGRAM]. 1969 Sci. Jrnl. Apr. 53/1 Lasers have been operated which produce visible radiation, ultraviolet, infrared and even submillimetre radiation. 1970 [see HOLOGRAPH v.]. 1971 Sci. Amer. June 21/3 A laser is a device for generating or amplifying a beam of light whose waves are both monochromatic (all the same wavelength) and coherent (all in step). The light beam emitted by a laser can be made almost perfectly parallel, its divergence angle being theoretically limited only by diffraction effects. 1972 McGraw-Hill Yearbk. Sci. & Technol. 266/2 The first purely chemical lasers requiring no external source of energy to initiate or sustain laser excitation have been operated successfully.

2. attrib. and Comb., as laser beam, bomb, light, reflector; laser-guided, -ignited ppl. adjs.; laser-heat vb.; laser disc, a disc on which signals or data are recorded to be reproduced by directing a laser beam on to its surface and detecting the light reflected or transmitted by it; laser-driven ppl. a., powered by a laser beam; laser printer, a non-impact printer in which a laser is used to form a pattern of dots on a photosensitive drum corresponding to the pattern of print required on a page. 1963 Monsanto Mag. Mar. 10/3 A *laser beam can generate intense heat10,000F. or higherin a small area. 1970 Daily Tel. (Colour Suppl.) 28 Aug. 17/1 A laser beam, focused through the lens of the eye, can weld a detached retina back into place by creating scar tissue. 1970 Daily Tel. 31 Jan. 4/2 Scientists..maintain that the *laser bomb..is a theoretical possibility. 1972 Guardian 29 June 4/3 The drawback to the laser bomb is that the plane producing the beam must keep it on target until the bomb's impact. [1978 Electronics & Communications in Japan LXI. 97/1 The signal is read from the laser video disc by detecting either the transmitted or reflected light when a laser beam is incident at the recorded signal track.] 1980 C. S. FRENCH Computer Sci. vii. 32 *Laser disc units. Development is going ahead on disc units which use optical methods requiring lasers. 1982 World Bk. Sci. Ann. 1983 131 Today's videodiscs differ radically..from one another. The most sophisticated is the optical disc, or laser disc. 1985 Sunday Times 20 Jan. 72/7 Laser disc technology is about to make the filing cabinet obsolete. 1976 Jrnl. Physical Soc. Japan XL. 867/2 In order to pull out thermonuclear fusion energy from a *laser-driven pellet, the implosion must take place in a stable manner. 1984 Progress Optics XXI. 355 (heading) Fluctuations, instabilities and chaos in the laser-driven nonlinear ring cavity. 1967 New Scientist 11 May 326/2 With the *laser-guided bomb, the large bombers might be able to drop their loads over the target area from high altitudes with greater assurance of putting them on target. 1972 Science 9 June 1108/3 The laser-guided bombs now being used are mostly in the 2000 to 3000-pound range. 1971 Sci. Amer. June 27/1 The second questionregarding the feasibility of *laser-heating a small dense plasma to thermonuclear conditions without the necessity of a confining magnetic fieldis receiving increased attention. Ibid. 29/1 A method for converting the fusion energy from laser-ignited deuterium-tritium pellets into electrical power was evolved..early in 1969. 1966 Listener 28 July 129/3 The editor..will brandish a *laser-light pen to indicate alterations which a computer will make. 1971 B. DE FERRANTI Living with Computer ix. 83 In laser light the waves are all in the same plane and in phase. 1979 Product Engin. May 16 (heading) *Laser printer is crucial to office machine that does just about everything. 1985 Personal Computer World Feb. 13/3 (Advt.), Laser Jet is a quiet, eight page-per-minute tabletop laser printer. 1969 New Scientist 9 Oct. 81/1 The first men on the Moon have..already placed one *laser-reflector on the lunar surface. ADDITIONS SERIES 1997

laser, n.2

Add: [2.] laser gun, (a) (now rare) = sense 1 above; (b) orig. Science Fiction, a weapon incorporating a laser; a toy intended to resemble this; (c) any of various devices which use a laser to read or record information.

1961 Business Week 30 Dec. 46/2 (heading) *Laser gun shoots light rays. 1972 New Republic 8 Apr. 10/1 Several times a day, scientists pull the trigger of a gigantic 60,000-watt ‘gas dynamic’ laser gun, sending up puffs of light grey smoke followed by a muffled two-second roar. Two miles away, a wooden target bursts into flames. 1981 Encycl. Sci. Suppl. 1982 (Grolier) 349/1 The laser gun moves slowly across the surface, leaving a special track. 1990 A. LURIE Don't tell Grown-Ups ii. 25 Jack doesn't zap the giant with a laser gun, because in real life when you meet a bully or an armed mugger or a boss who wants to push you around you probably won't have a laser gun. 1992 Times Educ. Suppl. 31 Jan. 47/6 Once the barcode is printed it needs to be read or scanned. Again a range of readers/scanners, such as hand-held wands, laser guns and touch scanners, are described. DRAFT ADDITIONS MAY 2003

laser, n.2

laser pen n. (a) a small, slender hand-held device emitting a laser beam, used for scanning bar-codes; (b) a hand-held device emitting a narrow beam of coloured light, typically used by speakers to project a visual pointer on to a screen.

1981 Industry Week 26 Jan. 101 The computer system, now being used to track 200,000 pending patent applications, uses bar-code labeling of files and a *laser pen scanner to provide input. 1992 AVC Presentation for Visual Communication (Nexis) Feb. 20 Weighing under three ounces with batteries and disguised as a pen, the Laser Pen will operate up to seven hours at distances up to 65. 1997 Daily Tel. (Electronic ed.) 10 Nov., Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, is to be urged to crack down on laser pens after three police officers suffered eye injuries during a siege. The officers complained of burning eyes and headaches after a pen was aimed at them. 2002 Record (Bergen County, New Jersey) (Nexis) 13 Feb. I1 Most other libraries use a laser pen to scan a bar code when someone wants to check out a book, and the computer keeps track of when it's due back.

"Less invasive than X-rays" (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182728)

Um, no, I know when I'm being X-rayed. A remote sensing system that can see what I have in my pockets a mile away, without my knowledge, is highly invasive.

Yes, yes, they mean "invasive" in the medical sense: the frequencies they're using don't penetrate inside the body. But it would be nice if they'd clarify the meaning without being so blase about it. "DHS will be able to scan anyone, anywhere, any time for anything -- what could possibly go wrong?"

Re:"Less invasive than X-rays" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182800)

"...the frequencies they're using don't penetrate inside the body."

Exactly! Now you know where to put your secrets/valuables/C4.

I give you a hint; There is not much sunshine.

Re:"Less invasive than X-rays" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33182918)

I give you a hint; There is not much sunshine.

My butthole emits blinding white rays of heavenly light you insensitive clod!

Re:"Less invasive than X-rays" (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184780)

What Pluto?

Made of mostly water, a body, not much sunshine.

Re:"Less invasive than X-rays" (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183624)

They could get sued for sexual abuse? I mean gussy it up however they like, at the end of the day this is viewing people naked without permission, or really over their objections. Were this a more rational area of discussion, we'd all be able to admit that this is sexual abuse, and it's not even grey area either.

Re:"Less invasive than X-rays" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33183864)

Speaking of highly invasive, the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should render this illegal:
    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This would lead to yet another way to do a warrantless search (and possibly seizure) of a person, house, papers, or effects.

This is highly (read illegally) invasive!!!

You can read it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org]

Re:"Less invasive than X-rays" (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185738)

The good news is that they can only do this with highly directional lasers--as opposed to conventional lasers, which are not directional, I suppose coming from the use of non-coherent light . . .

Really, now. Is this a weak candidate for April 1 next year?

so it does not work with sharks? (5, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182746)

so it does not work with sharks?

Re:so it does not work with sharks? (2, Insightful)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182840)

Not yet, but those bastards keep making the technology smaller and smaller and more powerful! One day they will make it small enough to be mounted onto a shark, and at that point someone else will have cloned raptors. The sharks and raptors will grow up together and then the world will end, taken over by raptors riding sharks with laser beams, all because science couldn't stop to think about the consequences!

Re:so it does not work with sharks? (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183094)

That's OK, the latest episode of Mythbusters confirmed that sharks can't swim while wearing electronic gear.

Re:so it does not work with sharks? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183248)

Correct. This is our chance to rebel, to have weapons the sharks cannot match, so finally be free of our masters...

Re:so it does not work with sharks? (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184076)

I have been told from someone who knows better that the sharks have begun training in order to hold as much time as possible outside of water. It is a conspiracy sponsored by the Government (who do you think pays for all those military subs, and what are they doing down there?)

.

We have to act now and begin training ourselves in order to be able to spend as much time under water as we can.

Arms race (2)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182854)

I will not be surprised to find soon there is an inexpensive way of shielding against this.

Then again, if you've got nothing to hide, why do you have tinfoil lined pockets, citizen?

Re:Arms race (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33182980)

That's no normal tinfoil, that's antiseptic tinfoil. It's purely for hygiene!

Re:Arms race (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183632)

I will not be surprised to find soon there is an inexpensive way of shielding against this.

Perhaps even a free method of dampening ones clothing to the point of interfering with the beam -I'll call it sweating!

Re:Arms race (1)

flanktwo (1041494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185194)

Or peeing your pants.

Re:Arms race (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183638)

I predict that protective cup manufacturers will go back to making them the old fashioned way, out of metal.

Business opportunity! (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183002)

Since it won't pass through metals, quick, someone patent the tin-foil bra!

Oops, too late, now it's in the public domain :-)

Bites (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184914)

Nigella Lawson (good looking host of cooking shows) already beat you to it.

Re:Business opportunity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33185030)

You have a year to file, IIRC.

nig6A (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33183068)

same worthless 5tart a holy war irc.secsUp.org or

Agnostic (1)

Cur8or (1220818) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183070)

"All technology is neutral, including the death ray" - Prof. Farnsworth.

THz laser... (1)

Ryukotsusei (1164453) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183204)

Aren't all lasers in the THz range? I'm pretty sure all visible light and company are in the THz range.

Bogus info from Tired (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183210)

Tired Magazine blows it again.

The article from Tired [wired.co.uk] is bogus. The "remote generation of terahertz radiation" is described in this paper. [rpi.edu] They generate terahertz radiation at the target by hitting it with a big enough pulse to heat it up into a plasma. This is a classic spectroscopy technique; hit something with a big laser pulse and look at the spectra coming back.

Nobody is going to look into pockets that way, unless they burn through first. It may be useful for analyzing toxic and hazardous materials from a distance. A possible application is something that first responders point at a spill from a distance, and it comes back with an analysis. Assuming the energy transfer can be made small enough so as not to ignite anything.

Re:Bogus info from Tired (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183476)

So your claim is that the TSA cares enough about passenger wellfare to not plasmify their customers? I think you underestimate their devotion to providing a comfortable, pleasant travel experience.

Re:Bogus info from Tired (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184354)

So what will happen is they think the person standing behind you is a terr'rist, so they zap you ... you're converted to plasma, and they can then look at the reflected wave to see if the terr'rist really was a terr'rist or just RMS.

Look at the bright side - you won't have to waste any more of your life standing in line with your shoes off and smelling everyone else's stinky foot-cheeze.

On the plus side... (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185370)

... if they use this system for airport screening of terrorists, it will get a guaranteed 0% false negative rate.

Plus it will speed up the boarding queues!

Return fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33183352)

I can see in a few years once every other government agency has some sort of spy drone out there checking up on you, souped up versions of the anti-mosquito LASER system will start appearing on roof tops throughout the US in order to deal with the larger nosy pests.

impenetrable barrier of protection (1, Interesting)

gamecrusader (1684024) | more than 4 years ago | (#33183834)

time to go bact to the middle ages bring out the suits of armor walking around on one of those would hide u from these lasers

wet suit. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184752)

Time to buy a wet suit, or as this is military, a full metal jacket.

Re:wet suit. (2, Informative)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184926)

"Time to buy . . . a full metal jacket."

Yeah, I bet having Ammo in your pockets or bags will really expedite your trip.

Re:wet suit. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185536)

Yeah, I bet having Ammo in your pockets or bags will really expedite your trip.

When security lines are long, getting whisked over to special screening is a
much quicker process than having to wait 30+ minutes for the regular screening.

Declaring a weapon in your luggage usually ensures it will get where it's going,
since the airport worker who misdirects that bag is going to land in some deep shit.

Awesome! (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 4 years ago | (#33184998)

I am totally patenting the Faraday Suit(TM) when this hits the air!

Co-author checking in (4, Interesting)

Mkoms (910273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185134)

Hey guys, I'm one of the co-authors of that Nature Materials paper. Please let me know if you have any technical questions about the work. I'm not an expert on terahertz semiconductor lasers or their applications (I was really only involved in the surface patterning of the facet with the spoof plasmonic structures), but I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have.

Privacy Invasion yet again (1)

hardburlyboogerman (161244) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185470)

Looks like I'd better stock up on tin foil.
At the very least,make some figures for them to see--in the shape of 1 finger salutes.

Time to get wet (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185590)

less invasive, since they cannot pass through water or metal.

So they won't work, as long as you only go outside days that it's rainy and make sure all your pockets and such are always soaking wet. Keep extra bags of water to ensure that remains the case.

Snakes on the plane... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185600)

So this would be a long range pocket snake detector...
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