The region of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared radiation has come to be known as the "THz gap," mainly due to the lack of readily available laboratory sources and detectors. For many years technology development was driven by astronomers and planetary scientists, but other potential uses, particularly in medical and security applications, have led to increased activity by the mainstream physics and engineering community in recent times. Because diffraction is important at these frequencies, THz systems cannot be successfully designed using traditional optical techniques alone.
The primary objective of this Field Guide is to provide the reader with a concise description of the quasi-optical techniques used at THz frequencies, as well as the basic principles of operation of the most common THz system components in use today. More detailed accounts of specific devices can be found in the bibliography and references therein.
We would like to thank our families and our colleagues at NUI Maynooth, in particular Neil Trappe, Marcin L. Gradziel, and Ian McAuley of the THz Optics group and also Stafford Withington of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge.
J. Anthony Murphy
Department of Experimental Physics
National University of Ireland, Maynooth