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Judging a book through its cover? It is possible now

By: Nirupam Manik, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : September 12, 2016 2:36 pm

Researchers has reportedly tested a prototype of this new technology on a stack of papers.
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Scientists have now developed a new technology that can actually help you read closed books. A team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which include one of Indian origin, has reportedly tested a prototype on a stack of papers. Each paper has one letter printed on it and the prototype was able to identify the letters on about nine sheets.

Book cover

To make this possible, along with MIT, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, US also developed an algorithm that acquires images from individual sheets in stacks of paper.

"The Metropolitan Museum in New York showed a lot of interest in this, because they want to, for example, look into some antique books that they don't even want to touch,” said Barmak Heshmat, who is part of the MIT team. "This system could be used to analyse any materials organised in thin layers, such as coatings on machine parts or pharmaceuticals,” he added.

This technology can be useful for archaeologists to read pages of antique books without touching them. Though still at the initial stage, this is an important breakthrough in the technology world.

Explaining the whole concept Heshmat said that the entire system uses terahertz radiation, the band of electromagnetic radiation between microwaves and infrared light, which has several advantages over other types of waves that can penetrate surfaces, such as X-rays or sound waves.

Unlike X-rays, Terahertz profiles can easily differentiate between a blank paper and inked paper, thanks to the much better depth resolution. This system exploits those tiny air pockets between the pages which are about 20 micrometers deep. In this new technology system, ultrasounds radiation is thrown by the Terahertz camera and with the help of the algorithm the distance of the individual pages of the book are measured. As of now, the camera can only measure the distance up to 20 pages in a stack but the results are truly relevant up to nine pages only. But scientists claim that soon we could see deeper penetration into the stacks with more relevant information being deduced.

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Tags: Books Scientists Massachusetts Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology

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