Cakes of nanotubes may measure terahertz laser power, not years wasted


Terahertz lasers sure are awesome but, there's one big problem, we have no reliable way of measuring their power -- a pretty important piece of data to have before you start bombarding people with their flesh penetrating rays. A new coating for laser calibration tools called VANTA seems like a viable candidate for sucking up those longer than visible wavelengths. Constructed of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, up to 1.5mm in length, cakes of VANTA are not only more absorbent than other materials used for measuring a laser's power (which makes it more accurate and faster), it's also quite easy to handle. Chunks of the stuff can be sliced off with a razor and shuttled to the detector on the blade's side. We give it a week before someone cuts a piece with one of those new MacBook Airs.