What is Terahertz imaging?

  • It is a scanning technique that uses extremely high frequency waves to penetrate dense surfaces.
  • Originally employed in the search for petroleum reserves, it is now used in art restoration.
  • The beams can penetrate layers of paint introduced in varying degrees by artists to create particular effects or it can also plumb, without causing damage, layers of wear-and-tear over the years.
  • Without the signal processing, researchers might only be able to identify layers 100 to 150 microns thick.
  • But using the advanced processing, they can distinguish layers just 20 microns thick.
  • Paintings done before the 18th century have been challenging to study because their paint layers tend to be very thin.
  • Beyond old art, the non-destructive technique also has potential applications for detecting skin cancer, ensuring proper adhesion of turbine blade coatings, and measuring the thickness of automotive paints.


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