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RPI to Open Terahertz Science Lab
Sep 2002
TROY, N.Y., Sept. 9 -- A center for terahertz research will be established at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, thanks to a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles.

RPI will use the funding to set up the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Terahertz Science within a new Center for Terahertz Research at Rensselaer. The laboratory will expand RPI's work in terahertz microscopy, medical imaging and research to identify terrorist threats. The laboratory and the center will be led by Xi-Cheng Zhang, a professor of science at RPI.

The grant will also fund the purchase of advanced instrumentation for the terahertz laboratory, including a three-phase Terawatt laser system, which amplifies the terahertz ray to produce a high-powered terahertz laser. The Terawatt system will be coupled with an infrared spectrometer, optical tables and a vacuum deposition system.

Terahertz waves have the potential to create pictures and transmit information in the same way that visible light can create a photograph, radio waves can transmit sound and X-rays can "see" shapes within the human body. But "T-rays" paint a picture in more intricate detail, and pose few safety risks to biological tissue, making the technology beneficial to many aspects of biomedicine and for earlier detection of disease, RPI said.

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