back to article Invisible-shed spy beam tech detects hidden artworks

Last week was a big one for those who like their T-rays. The spy-beam technology has been used to view murals hidden beneath inches of plaster, and has also been linked to metamaterials - the stuff from which invisible sheds could be made. In the first development, art boffins from Paris's famous Louvre museum - collaborating …

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  1. Robin Bradshaw
    Paris Hilton

    What am i missing?

    I think im missing something here.

    If the scientists manage to make metamaterials to guide T waves and make these scanners possible, cant the same meta materials be used to make a pocket sized invisible shed hide to things like weapons from the scanner?

    Thereby making the scanner pointless.

  2. Alex
    Alert

    this sounds like a job for

    Captain nanotube!

  3. Conway

    @Robin

    If you could make a pocket sized enclosure that could not be seen through it might well hide it's contents but I would imagine it would be glaringly obvious that it was there, just by the fact you couldn't see through it. I could always be wrong of course.

    Mine's the Chameleon coat you can't see over there.

  4. Steve

    Re: @Robin

    The idea is that the enclosure projects the image of what's behind it. As long as you can do this in the right frequency range, the scanner wouldn't see the enclosure.

    Also, anything that essentially amounts to x-ray specs to see through women's clothes will never be pointless.

  5. Freddie
    Boffin

    @Conway

    Nope. The meta materials are such that light is actually curved around the object, so the observer sees the light from behind the object. The tricky bit is making the light that has taken the detour around the object arrive in sync with the light emitted from nearby sources that has travelled straight to the observer.

  6. Chad W. Smith
    Stop

    No more use of a word

    Please stop using the made up word "boffin". This is a stereotypical OFFENSIVE word. It is like me putting into print a made up word "authin" which would mean, lazy, fat, coffee stained,no talent writers of articles.

    Perhaps now you can see the correlation.

  7. Timothy Slade
    Dead Vulture

    @freddie

    more quantum somethings, then. I remember vaguely, an article about a boffin who was 'firing photons into a metal rod' and reported that they were coming out of the other end, either before he had fired them, or at quicker then the speed of light.

    sure someone could dig this up.

    (dead vulture, cos thats how I feel right now)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    British workmen at their best

    So are they saying that they have invented something that does not work very well yet because up to now no one has yet invented the stuff that it needs to be made from which sort of bends light and is invisible. However they have still managed to sell at least one of them to the Department of Homeland Security in the US and are trying to sell them to the French.

    Salesman: OK the new T-ray scanner system is all installed

    Customer: OK but I dont see anything. Where is it.

    Salesman: Thats OK its made from invisible stuff.

    Customer: But the one you showed me in the showroom wasnt invisible?

    Salesman: That was a mock up made from metal and plastic and does not work.

    Customer: ????

    I'll get my own coat. It might take me some time to find it as it is made from invisible metamaterials and its hung up under the plaster on the wall there behind the door.

  9. Aric Friesen
    Thumb Up

    Boffin is acceptable to us Yanks

    Boffin was used a lot in the Danger Mouse cartoons I saw in the 80s (and thankfully now own on DVD.) As a Yank I learned a lot over hear about the U.K. through Danger Mouse.

    I say keep the word that has been around for a long time, and who's meaning is clear.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    what about..

    ..all the other potential benefits such rays could provide - like being able to see exactly whats inside someone - cancers, fractures, etc, without invasive surgery.

    ..and maybe you could store information in a cubic array, instead of just a basically flat one like a dvd or hard drive.

    ..but let me guess, someone is going to log on and read the article who knows about this stuff and say that infact the author is talking gibberish and such ray technology as described wont exist for another 100 years, thus making my quite useful suggestions completely null and void and making me look like an idiot so infact sod the lot of you, im getting my coat... its the one with the stale milk in the pocket, and child porn sewn into the lining, but you shouldnt be able to see that now should you?

  11. ImaGnuber

    T-Wave Threat!

    "Qinetiq's gear is passive, however: it scans the T-rays naturally emitted by human bodies"

    So they are 'naturally emitted by human bodies'? Looking forward to a nationwide panic when this info gets out... "Schools Polluted by T-Waves!!!!" "Homes Near Stadiums Face Massive T-Wave Threat!!!!!" "Couples Threatened by T-Waves as they Sleep!!!!" "Government Fails to Deal with T-Wave Threat!" "Terrorists Smuggle T-Waves. Security Service Helpless!!!"

    Don't need my coat. I'll just sit and watch, thanks.

  12. J-Wick
    Black Helicopters

    @Freddie

    "The meta materials are such that light is actually curved around the object, so the observer sees the light from behind the object"....

    ... sounds like optical camouflage to me. Bring on the Tachikomas!

    Ooooooh.

  13. christopher
    Paris Hilton

    @Timothy

    Your talking about tachyons.

    Its still only theory as the scientists methods could not survive mathematical scrutiny.

    The only thing that was proven is that a quantum particle only exists when it is observed or interacts with another object.

    In the time between transmission and observation the particle can be proven to exist at all points in space at any one time or all points in time at a specific point in space(but not both). i.e it collapses into existence.

  14. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    "it collapses into existence."

    Bloody hell, I now understand *exactly* how quantum particles behave, it's all a function of Monday morning.

    No, not the coat, I'll have another of those fuming ones with the umbrella please......

  15. Hollerith

    boffin

    The word has a long an honourable history stretching back about 60 years, i.e. from WWII.

    And if the problem is that it is 'made up', then whither 'internet' and 'intranet'?

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