"T-rays", pulses of terahertz radiation, could let art historians see murals hidden beneath coats of plaster or paint in centuries-old buildings in much the same way X-rays let doctors see through skin and could also illuminate penciled sketches under paintings on canvas without harming the artwork, according to new research.

Current methods of imaging underdrawings can't detect certain art materials such as graphite or sanguine, a red chalk that some of the masters are believed to have used.

The team of researchers used terahertz imaging to detect colored paints and a graphite drawing of a butterfly through 4 mm of plaster. They believe their technique is capable of seeing even deeper. A paper on the research is published in the February edition of Optics Communications.

It isn't time to rewrite the Corpus Hermeticum just yet but a University of Rochester optical scientist has come close - he has used a tabletop laser to turn pure aluminum gold. And blue. And gray. And many other colors. And it works for every other metal tested, including platinum, titanium, tungsten, silver, and gold.

Chunlei Guo, the researcher who a year ago used intense laser light to alter the properties of a variety of metals to render them pitch black, has pushed the same process further in a paper in today’s Applied Physics Letters. He now believes it’s possible to alter the properties of any metal to turn it any color — even multi-colored iridescence like a butterfly’s wings.

TOKYO, Japan, January 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoya Corporation today announced its consolidated results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months ended December 31, 2007.

Third Quarter 2007 Highlights

- Net sales increased 48.6% to 147.0 billion yen compared to 98.9 billion yen for the third quarter of 2006.

- Operating income increased 1.1% to 27.5 billion yen compared to 27.2 billion yen for the third quarter of 2006.

- Ordinary income increased 12.0% to 28.1 billion yen compared to 25.1 billion yen for the third quarter of 2006.

- Net income increased 13.2 % to 22.6 billion yen compared to 19.9 billion yen for the third quarter of 2006.

- Net sales and ordinary income posted historical records on quarterly basis.

Nine Months 2007 Highlights

Dark-field images provide more detail than ordinary x-ray radiographs and could be used to identify explosives in hand luggage, diagnose the onset of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease and pinpoint hairline cracks or corrosion in functional structures.

The issue has been that the wavelengths needed for dark-field images required sophisticated optics that could only be produced at facilities like the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)’s 300m-diameter, $200 million synchrotron. Now researchers at PSI and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have developed a novel method allowing dark-field images to be produced using ordinary x-ray equipment already in place in hospitals and airports around the world.

WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts, January 9 /PRNewswire/ --

- Industry Veteran Joins Emerging Leader in Infrared Night Vision Imaging Technology

NoblePeak Vision (http://www.noblepeak.com) announced today that Mike Decelle has joined the company as President and Chief Executive Officer. Decelle takes the reins from co-founder Cliff King, bringing 25 years of experience to NoblePeak with demonstrated leadership capabilities and success in both startup and large public companies. King moves into the Chief Operating Officer role to focus on new product development and manufacturing as NoblePeak rapidly approaches market introduction of its revolutionary night vision TriWave(R) camera cores in 2008.

Broadband access has transformed the economic potential of the internet but the ADSL technology that delivers broadband to homes over traditional copper telephone wires is reaching its limit of around 10 megabits per second. If we want speeds ten times faster we need to replace the copper with optical fibers.

Optical fibers carry signals with light rather than electricity. They have been used in telecommunications for many years, especially over ‘long-haul’ links such as transatlantic cables and other trunk routes. Professor Henri Benisty, of the Institute of Optics Graduate School near Paris, likens them to motorways, carrying a lot of traffic but with only a small number of entrances and exits.

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers [1] has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed 'The Bird' - albeit it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell - is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy.

The galaxy ESO 593-IG 008, or IRAS 19115-2124, was previously merely known as an interacting pair of galaxies at a distance of 650 million light-years.

As a step towards designing tomorrow's super-fast optical communications networks, a Duke University-led research team has demonstrated a way to transfer encoded information from a laser beam to sound waves and then back to light waves again.

Swapping data between media like this would allow information to be captured and retained for very brief intervals. Data could be stored within pockets of acoustic vibration created when laser beams interact along a short strand of optical fiber, the team reported in Science.

The Duke experiments address a barrier to efforts at developing computer networks that can run on light instead of electrons.

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, December 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Essilor has strengthened its prescription laboratory network in Europe with the acquisition of majority stakes in Sinclair Optical Services and United Optical, two independent laboratories in the United Kingdom. The Company has also acquired Premier Optics, Inc., Gold Optical Enterprises, Inc. and GK Optical in the United States.

YOKOHAMA, Japan, November 13 /PRNewswire/ --

- Micrel and Firecomms To Preview New Joint Reference Design For Plastic Optical Fiber

Micrel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCRL), an industry leader in analog, high bandwidth communications and Ethernet IC solutions, today announced that it will showcase a new Ethernet solution at Embedded Technology 2007. The new joint reference design for Plastic Optical Fiber (POF), which Micrel and Firecomms are jointly announcing, is based on Micrel's KSZ8041FTL transceiver and Firecomms' EDL300T Fiber Optic Transceiver. This new solution will preview for the first time at the show which will be held in Yokohama, Japan, at the Pacifico Yokohama, with Micrel exhibiting at Booth No. C-01, Nov. 14-16, 2007