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April 15 2013

Airport body scanning technology uncovers ancient Roman fresco


Airport scanners can see more than your underwear. Terahertz spectroscopy, the imaging technology used in airport body scanners, has uncovered a hidden, ancient fresco underneath a wall painting at the Louvre.

Terahertz spectroscopy uses beams of electromagnetic radiation that lie between microwaves (used in kitchen ovens) and infrared rays (used in TV remotes) on the spectrum. These waves are known for their ability to examine materials without damaging them, unlike X-rays and ultraviolet light, and are commonly used in other areas like biomedical imaging and pharmaceuticals.

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