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Scientists figure out how to see through walls, sort of

Sam Sheffer

We all know that light can't exactly pass through solid objects -- unless of course, you're using a laser or something. Yes, X-rays allow us to look into suitcases at the airport and broken bones in our bodies, but there's a new kid on the block that claims to have done the impossible in a novel fashion. Jochen Aulbach and his colleagues of the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics out in Amsterdam have developed a technology that allows scrambled light to remain focused as it passes through ultra-thin layers of paint. You see, when light is sent through opaque material, it becomes muddled and lost in the space-time continuum. Aulbach and his crew used a spatial light modulator, or SMT, to control a 64-femtosecond long laser pulse that's passed through a thin layer of paint. The SMT emits pulses that last long enough for only a machine to see and the data is sent to a computer for calibration. NewScientist claims that with this technology, it might be possible to hone in on cancerous cells and blast them to oblivion without damaging the healthy tissue surrounding them.

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