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Sticky Tape Found To Emit Terahertz Radiation 96

Posted by timothy
from the turn-up-your-sensors dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from New Scientist "'Peeling sticky tape has already been shown to produce X-rays, so Joseph Horvat and Roger Lewis of the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, tried to see if it could create lower-frequency terahertz radiation. "We were rather pleasantly surprised to obtain a clear signal in our first attempt," says Horvat. Strongly adhesive Scotch Magic 810 tape and weakly adhesive electrical tape both yielded strong terahertz signals, ranging from 0.1 to 10 terahertz, but only about a microwatt of power, too little for practical use (Optics Letters, vol 34, p 2195). Horvat says that refinements should increase the power by orders of magnitude.' It may be old news to Slashdot that [peeling clear tape] had been proved to produce X-rays, but watching the linked video where they use tape to expose X-ray film was pretty amazing."
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Sticky Tape Found To Emit Terahertz Radiation

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  • by swb (14022) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @03:19PM (#28961651)

    Is there a practical application for this? Does mechanically peeling tape require less power than producing the same radiation through more conventional means or with simpler materials?

    I can appreciate the gee-whiz nature of it but I can't quite figure out what value it has outside of the sciencey aspect of it.

  • Terahertz radiation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hAckz0r (989977) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @03:21PM (#28961689)
    Doesn't sound odd to me at all. Last time I checked EVERYTHING emanated something in the Terahertz region of the spectrum. Its like infra-red in that its darn hard not to give off a signature of some kind. That's how you can use it in the airports for monitoring for hidden weapons without dousing people with all kinds of xrays. Things that are more dense give off more T-waves. If you peal tape off something it causes a release of energy, and part of that will be thermal, and part T-waves.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @03:35PM (#28961857)

    A reusable version of tape that emits X-rays and/or terahertz radiation would be great, actually. A rudimentary prototype could be just a continuous, long loop of tape that runs around a series of non-adhesive pulleys; it then loops around one pulley specifically designed to stick to the tape, then un-adhere without removing or contaminating the adhesive.

    In some ways, radiation-emitting tape reminds me of the spark gap transmitter, except we're going backwards in technology from the X-ray tube, sorta.

  • Re:Terminology (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pete-classic (75983) <> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:03PM (#28963179) Homepage Journal

    I've been working on a grand unified theory of adhesion for years. My calculations predicted sticky threads on message boards.

    I'm currently seeking funding for my duct tape accelerator. I don't think the EU is going to be fooled twice, though.


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