The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Nov 08, 2012
 

Clear as ... paper? Scientists 'see' through solid layers

 
 

PARIS (AFP) - Scientists said Wednesday they have developed a method to "see through" layers of thin, solid material in a breakthrough that holds promise for medical imaging, nanotechnology - and the spy trade.

Still in its infancy, the technique using laser and computer decoding has allowed a team from the Netherlands and Italy to "see" an object behind a non-see-through barrier made of ground glass.

Using the same technology, they would also be able to look behind a sheet of paper or a thin layer of paint, said study co-author Allard Mosk of the Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

With improvements, "20 years in the future I think we might have a device the size of an iPhone that you could hold on the scattering material (the non-see-through layer) and you push a button or maybe speak a command ... and you'd be seeing what's behind it," the physicist told AFP.