opticsorg writes "Infrared laser pulses could soon be used to determine whether someone is telling the truth or is under stress. In patent application WO 03/057003, US firm Defense Group describes a non-invasive polygraph machine that fires infrared pulses at the subject. The reflected and scattered pulses are gathered and analysed by a receiver. 'The receiver is connected to an information processing device capable of determining various physiological characteristics exhibited by the human subject,' say the authors." Whether "various physiological characteristics" are reliable signs of truth-telling is another issue, though.