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Terahertz lasers built in the lab had previously had operating temperatures (grey region) whose maximum values suggested a linear correlation with frequency. The new laser’s operating temperature (red sphere) is nearly twice as high as that correlation would suggest.

New hope for terahertz

A laser that generates terahertz rays — which can detect explosives — operates at higher temperatures than some thought possible.

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Fine-tuned laser

A wholly new approach to tuning a laser’s frequency brings us a step closer to airport scanners that can distinguish aspirin from explosives.

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