BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.



BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us


Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
PROGRAMME INFO
Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
material.world@bbc.co.uk
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 30 January
PRESENTER
QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
BIOGRAPHY
INTERVIEW
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 30 January  2003
Polygraph trace

Lie Detection

A new technique which interprets facial gestures has been developed by scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University and could be the most accurate lie detector yet created. “Silent Talker” detects and analyses the thousands of “microgestures” which indicate someone might be telling untruths and which go unnoticed by both trained and untrained professionals. According to the team at MMU, Silent Talker is 80 per cent reliable compared to the standard polygraphs or lie detectors as used by the FBI which use physiological measure to detect lies (about 60% accuracy). Psychologists can train people to become better lie detectors. What is the non-verbal information we give out when we are lying? And can people train themselves to become better liars by learning to control it?

Quentin Cooper speaks to Jim O’Shea, Senior lecturer in Computer Science at Manchester Metropolitan University who has been working on Silent Talker and to Dr Paul Seagar Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. Silent talker could be used for personnel selection, police or counter terrorism and even medical diagnostics. The Canadian mounted police have already expressed an interest and Jim and his team are looking into ways to help airport security with this kit.

Terahertz

A hidden area of the electromagnetic spectrum is about to be opened up and personal privacy could never be the same again, clothes, brick walls and many other materials become transparent through terahertz rays. Terahertz Radiation is one of the last unexplored regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, with a frequency of around a trillion waves per second it spans the gap between light and radio waves. The gap is a fusion between microwaves and infrared light. Very recently, advances in ultra-fast pulsed laser technology have led to the generation and detection of broad bandwidth Terahertz light for the first time. This dramatic advance was made possible by applying new concepts in semiconductor physics to these commercially available laser systems.

As a wide variety of common materials such as living tissue, plastics, clothing, cardboard and semiconductors are semi-transparent at these frequencies, Terahertz pulses are of great interest for medical applications. It is less hazardous to use than X-Ray, and the power levels used are generally lower on average than the background Terahertz radiation encountered in everyday life. Terahertz could also have security and screening uses, for example screening sealed envelopes and also cosmetic applications.

Quentin Cooper speaks to Professor Michael Pepper of Cambridge University and director of TeraView and to Professor Martyn Chamberlain from Leeds University who are both experts in this exciting area of Terahertz radiation.
Listen Live
Audio Help
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
The Material World
Current Programmes
Previous Programmes
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy