New developments in electromagnetic Terahertz (THz) waves or T-rays offer the possibility a Star Trek 'tricorder' scanner can be developed.
ScienceDaily — Scientists have developed a new way to create Terahertz waves (T-rays) that may one day lead to biomedical detective devices similar to the 'tricorder' scanner used in Star Trek
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, published recently in the journal Nature Photonics, 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 from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, and Imperial College London in the UK have 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 and detector could provide part of the functionality of a Star Trek-like medical 'tricorder' -- a portable sensing, computing and data communications device -- since the waves are capable of detecting biological phenomena such as increased blood flow around tumorous growths. Future scanners could also perform fast wireless data communication to transfer a high volume of information on the measurements it makes.