Imagine a world in which your naughty bits are treated with the same loving care by TSA as are the ancient works of the great masters of our species’ art. That world may be coming soon, if tetrahertz scanning technology becomes mainstream.
Tetrahertz spectroscopy uses energetic waves somewhere between the infrared waves your remote control uses and the microwaves you use to cook up your leftover garbage plates. It has the uncanny ability to discern the structures and shapes of materials below the visible surface in a non-destructive fashion.
X-rays, by contrast, would never be used to scan the subsurface of ancient works, because it would be too destructive. But no one at the TSA has any problem aiming a dose straight at the old John Thomas if they think you’ve got a literal rocket in your pocket. And broadcast the resulting nudie pics to some perv behind a desk, no less.
Newly published research, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, aims to eliminate this problem – and direct scanning of passengers, altogether – by using tetrahertz technology to scan the whole room at once:
Researchers now report in ACS’ The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters a more precise and direct method for using that “terahertz” (THz) technology to detect explosives from greater distances. The advance could ultimately lead to detectors that survey a wider area of an airport without the need for full-body scanners.
So instead of making you stand for a quick porn shot, of which they never have the decency of sending you a few glossies anyway, you can now walk unimpeded through the airport safe in the knowledge that a scanner is looking for bombs everywhere. Of course, that also means that instead of per-person dick pics, you’ve got a whole room full of naked people.
But there’s safety in numbers, right?