Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Torch-sized devices will detect disease and weapons

11.10.2005


Researchers at the University of Essex have been awarded almost £1.2 million as part of a programme to develop a new generation of portable, handheld radiation detectors that could have a range of potential applications from disease diagnosis to weapons detection.



The new devices, which would be the size of a normal torch, will detect radiation in the THz (terahertz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is hoped they could be used in applications such as screening for explosive chemicals or drugs to help with security and crime prevention, to look for pollution in the local environment, and by doctors to help diagnosis.

The collaborative project, funded by grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council totalling £2 million, is being conducted by a team of researchers in the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering in collaboration with academics from UCL (University College London), the Universities of Bath and Leeds, and the Centre for Integrated Photonics Ltd in Ipswich.


Professor Henning, who is leading the team, explained: ’THz radiation falls between the infrared and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and can be imagined as either very high frequency radio waves, or as light which is invisible to the naked eye.

’For a long time it has been quite difficult to generate and detect THz, but, in recent years people have used large, powerful lasers to create pulses of THz radiation. This has proved very useful in medical applications to build up pictures of body tissue, rather like an x-ray, which can show up abnormalities. However, such devices require a large power supply and are usually bulky. With a small, low power device, which can run off batteries, the possibilities for practical applications open up enormously.’

Other interesting areas for application include using THz in fossil imaging, analysing chemicals in gases, and as part of astronomical observations.

The Portable Terehertz Systems Based on Advanced InP Technology (PORTRAIT) project is due to be completed in 2008.

Kate Clayton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.essex.ac.uk/news

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>