Leave it to the great minds at MIT and Georgia Tech to figure out a way to read the pages of a book without actually opening it.
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Researchers from the two institutions pulled it off with a system that looks like a cross between a camera and a microscope.
They said it could someday be used by museums to scan the contents of old volumes too fragile to handle, or to examine paintings to confirm their authenticity or understand the artist's creative process.
The scientists employed what is known as terahertz radiation to read a stack of papers with a single letter handwritten on each page.
The device is not quite ready to plow through entire books: It managed to clearly read only nine pages.