A method of obtaining a series of images of a three-dimensional object by transmitting pulsed terahertz (THz) radiation through the entire object from a plurality of angles, optically detecting changes in the transmitted THz radiation using pulsed laser radiation, and constructing a plurality of imaged slices of the three-dimensional object using the detected changes in the transmitted THz radiation. The THz radiation is transmitted through the object as a scanning spot. The object is placed within the Rayleigh range of the focused THz beam and a focusing system is used to transfer the imaging plane from adjacent the object to a desired distance away from the object. A related system is also disclosed.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-FG07-98ER6270 awarded by the Department of Energy and Contract Nos. DAAD-19-99-1-0333 and DAAD-1999C0045 awarded by the U.S. Army.