The quantum cascade laser is seeing its next-generation thanks to MIT and the University of Waterloo researchers. 

Now, it's portable, high-powered, and can generate terahertz outside of a laboratory environment. This development will make it extremely useful in settings such as hospitals and airports for detecting skin cancers and hidden contraband, for instance. 

The team has managed to create a device that doesn't require the usually-extremely-cold temperatures it needs to operate, meaning it can be transported to other settings. 

Their study was published in Nature Photonics on Monday.

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