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Use of the human hand as a powerless infrared source of radiation



Use of the human hand as a powerless infrared radiation source in various applications

Human hand as an infrared light source, with each finger emitting infrared light independently of each other. Credit: Shun An.

A team of researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University has found that the human hand can be used as a powerless infrared radiation source (IR) in several kinds of applications. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group notes that the human hand naturally emits IR, and they demonstrate that the radiation can be captured and used.


The human body emits light in the invisible IR region, including the hands. This source of radiation, the researchers noted, could potentially be captured and used in applications ranging from signal generation to encryption systems. They further noted that because the hand has multiple fingers, the IR that it emits could be considered multiplexed.

IR is a form of electromagnetic radiation ̵

1; its wavelengths are longer than visible light, which is why humans cannot see them. Previous studies have shown that the human body emits such radiation due to body heat. Electromagnetic radiation causes radiant energy, and its behavior is classified as both a quantum particle and a wave. Previous research has also shown that electromagnetic radiation can be used in a variety of applications, including microwaves, radios, and medical imaging equipment. In particular, infrared light enables night vision goggles, spectroscopy equipment and medical equipment used to treat burn victims. In this new effort, the researchers have found that the very small amount of IR emitted by the human hand is sufficient to use in various devices.

The team started by creating a device that was capable of separating the IR emitted by a hand from the surrounding IR. They then sprayed a low-reflective material on an aluminum base and found that the two devices together could be used to encrypt messages at ambient temperatures. They noted that when a human hand was used as a light source for the device, its IR emissions were reflected by all the regions that included them with high IR – the higher the rise in IR allowed the device to differentiate IR radiation, which provided a means of building in a decryption process. The researchers suggest that their device proves that human hand-generated IR is sufficient to build IR-based devices. They also note that their device could be modified to allow the use of fingers as encryption keys.


The graph ‘smart surfaces’ is now adjustable to visible spectrum


More information:
Shun An et al. Human hand as a powerless and multiplexed infrared light source for information encryption and complex signal generation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2021077118

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Citation: Use of the human hand as a powerless infrared radiation source (2021, April 8) retrieved April 8, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-human-powerless-infrared-source.html

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