Researchers in Germany claim to have opened the door to a new form of wireless communication by transmitting information at "terahertz" frequencies for the first time. The work could eventually lead to mobile phones that can transmit greater amounts of information at faster speeds than conventional devices, which use lower frequency microwaves. The team, led by Martin Koch from the Technical University of Braunschweig, encoded the electrical output from an audio CD player onto a terahertz beam and sent it over a distance of almost a metre.
The signal was then picked up by an antenna and forwarded to a loudspeaker. The first piece of music they transmitted and listened to was Billy Joels We Didnt Start the Fire. Meanwhile, Giles Davies from Leeds University examines other applications of terahertz radiation, including how it can be used to spot terrorist threats, such as concealed weapons, explosives and biological agents like anthrax. (pp. 5 & 37)
Contact: Martin Koch, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany (tel. +49 531 391 2000/3; fax +49 531 391 2045; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
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