The very promising nascent technology could shed light on humanities precious collection of fragile books that are too delicate for human touch.
Turns out some books are too fragile to handle. A book is meant to be read and in order to read them you need to hold them and turn their pages. If doing so destroys the book, what is their utility other than their historic value?
Turns out, that this entire line of reasoning has been turned on its head.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a method with which they can read individual pages of a book without even turning the pages leave alone opening the book.
The technology uses a terahertz radiation scanning techniques which relies on tiny 20-micrometer air gaps between the pages of the book to identify and scan them one by one.
Although the technology is yet nascent, this could be an archivist’s eureka moment. The current implementation of the technology can read around books which have only 9 pages. Beyond that it gets overwhelmed by noise.
Before you can use the tech to scan a thick manuscript, the researchers will have to improve on the overall power and accuracy of the terahertz tech.
Nevertheless, the breakthrough in technology is pretty exciting, given the immense possibilities it opens up for historians and researchers who were curious to peek around their precious books, but couldn’t fearing their curiosity would destroy the very book that is so precious to them.