If this group of scientists is able to perfect the technology, one will not even have to open the cover of the book or even touch it to be able to read is. The researchers, including Indian-origin Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Ramesh Raskar, has developed a technology that allows the machine to reach through the pages of a closed book. Ramesh Raskar has worked closely with the Georgia Tech scientists to develop a system that can read stacked pages by bouncing electromagnetic waves off them.
The technology is in the prototype stage and so far scientists have been able to successfully use it to read 9 pages stacked on top of one another with one letter printed on each one of them without touching them.
The technology being used is terahertz radiation, which is the energy band that falls between microwave and infrared. Unlike X-Rays, terahertz can distinguish between ink and paper in a much better way. Also it can penetrate more layers than ultrasound and retain the accuracy. There are minute 20 micrometers deep air pockets between the pages of a closed book. Measuring the change of refractive index as the terahertz radiation pass through and reflected to the camera, the device can distinguish between layers of multiple printed letters.
Terahertz is a technology at nascent stage. However, it can be a breakthrough and allow archeologists to read old books without having to touch them. The technology can be put to use to analyze layers of other materials as well.