Atomic Dielectric Resonance (ADR) [1], [2], [3] is a patented investigative technique (US 6864826 B1) [4] that can image inside materials (e.g. underground) and classify the materials being imaged. It does this by measuring and interpreting resonant energy responses of natural or synthetic materials while these interact with pulsed electromagnetic radio waves, microwaves, millimetric or sub-millimetric radio waves being passed through them.

The resonant energy response can be measured in terms of energy, frequency and phase relationships. The precision with which the process can be measured helps define the unique interactive atomic or molecular response behaviour of any specific material, according to the energy bandwidth used. ADR is measurable on a very wide range of hierarchical scales both in time and space. Time scales may range from seconds to femtoseconds, and spatial scales from metres to nanometres. The reaction or results of this interaction may be observed, measured and analysed on a specially controlled ADR scanning system designed and built to quantify the ADR effects of any material or object to be studied and typecasted by this method. This allows the materials or objects to be identified in any future scanning operation of unknown objects, with a view to identify the said objects by the characteristic ADR effects.


ADR images materials and thereafter identifies them by a process of mathematical and statistical comparison rather than interpretation. This involves comparison at the necessary level of magnification to a database of known substances and material relationships. Imaging and identification in this manner removes the uncertainty and subjectivity associated with manual interpretation and probability mapping based technologies such as seismic. The unique ability of ADR to image to the molecular or atomic level of magnification brings vital advantages, such as definite YES/NO logic with no grey areas.


The method was developed some 30 years after initial tests using remote sensing techniques with X-band (30 mm) and C-band (55 mm) waves in an aircraft-based synthetic aperture radar investigation with the European Space Agency. Within that study it was recognised that more than the expected very limited ground penetration (1.5 cm and 3 cm respectively) of beach sands was being achieved. The surface of the ground water table was clearly recognised some 3m below the ground surface (and confirmed by boreholes) across the Sands of Forvie, near the mouth of the Ythan Estuary, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. One year later this greatly enhanced depth of penetration was seen in Space Shuttle L-Band imagery of the Sahara Desert, where L-band waves (23 cm) were seen to penetrate some 3m below the Sahara desert floor and reveal ancient river beds.


In recent years, the technology for the production of laser light has become widely available, and applications of this medium to the examination of materials are constantly expanding. Whereas the earlier applications concentrated on the use of visible laser light, the development of systems using invisible laser light are now being further explored. Adrok [5] has achieved proof of principle by conducting a series of experiments in which rocks of different compositions and textures were exposed to pulsed beams of wideband conditioned ADR radiation, producing a range of differing energy and frequency responses detectable by suitably conditioned receivers. Conditioning the beam by dielectric optics creates a synthetic lens effect so that the sensors appear to have much longer chambers with wider apertures. This effect produces narrow coherent beams of pulsed and lased radio waves which are good for illuminating target interfaces and materials.

The conditioned ADR beam of photons penetrates the rock and as it encounters the component materials it stimulates the atoms to release energy according to their compositions. The conditioned pulse of photons passes through the structure of the atom and emerges to encounter more atoms further along its path. Electrons from each individual atom release energy in all directions, and by timing the first arrival of this burst of low energy from a time-zero position beside the transmitting source, enables the distance to the responding atoms encountered to be determined. The nature of the return signal, its frequency and energy levels and phase changes (if any) are determined by the minerals encountered. In a rock mass the component minerals may vary, but in general, sandy rocks are composed principally of quartz (SiO2), limestones mainly of calcite (CaCO3), coals largely of Carbon (C), and clays or shales mainly of assemblages of iron- or magnesium-alumino-silicates. Cascading harmonic analysis of the emerging electromagnetic radiation enables the energies and frequencies of the signals released by the materials to differ sufficiently for the rock compositions to be recognised by computer processing.

The FFT generated spectral data sets for clinical and control samples were analysed using RADAMATIC ADR and Image Analysis software developed and owned by Adrok. In classic EM Theory, the EM properties of the mediums of propagation (air, water, soil, rock and biological materials, for example) there are three key variables which are usually studied:

  1. Dielectric permittivity (ε)
  2. Magnetic permeability (μ)
  3. Electric conductivity (σ)

The mathematical and statistical methods of ADR analysis (founded on Maxwell’s equations) produce synthetic relationships which can then be used to compute very precise values of ε, μ and σ. The software analysis incorporated is primarily concerned with identifying materials which have to be mapped or assessed in some way. If change detection is important, then the software is concerned with mapping the extent or spread of the material in question over specific time scales to monitor increased or decreased spatial or volume extents. In order to unambiguously identify the material in question the software does not necessarily need to know the specific values of ε, μ and σ, which, per se, may not necessarily identify the unknown material in question, but it may be necessary to establish 10 or 12 (or more) other mathematical or statistical relationships related to the energy-frequency spectra of the unknown material in question, to establish from the ADR control database of such parameters unquestionably what the material’s code is by the software’s logical expert systems method of discrimination.

ADR provides the user with 3 outputs (image, material classification and thematic map) as opposed to the traditional NDTs’ singular image output. Unlike other NDT technologies, ADR is capable of classifying objects in microscopic ranges (e.g., 10 micrometres) and macroscopic ranges (up to 4 km and beyond).


The general ADR process is as follows:

  • Emission of electromagnetic energy bands chosen from the broad spectrum
  • Proprietary adjustment of wave prior to emission of energy from the system
  • Proprietary adjustment of wave post collection of energy from the material
  • Energy from wave-material interaction assessed and interpreted by specialist software
  • Provides fingerprint of any substance down to either molecular or atomic
  • Identification of materials by comparison of energy & frequency relationships with specialist database
  • System calibration conducted on measurement standards
  • Signal conditioning provides high resolution images
  • Resolution many times greater than acoustic imaging methods such as seismic or ultrasound, or other radar imaging such as ground penetrating radar (GPR).
  • ADR Pulsing provides deep penetration of earth (avoids signal weakening effects caused by sea or earth)


  1. Fagge, T.J., Barclay, G.R., Stove, G.C., Stove, G., Robinson, M.J., Head, M.W., Ironside, J.W. and Turner, M.L., J. Translational Medicine, 2007, 5:41 1
  2. Valentine, H., Fraser, J., Stove, G.C., Barclay, G.R. and Farquhar, C.F. Atomic dielectric resonance spectroscopy: a novel technique for the identification of TSE infected tissues. International Conference on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies, Edinburgh, 2002/9 5
  3. Maurizio Pocchiari, Anna Poleggi, Serena Principe, Silvia Graziano and Franco Cardone, 2009, Genomic and post-genomic analyses of human prion diseases Genome Medicine 2009, 1:63 (doi:10.1186/gm63), The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at 4
  4. Stove, G.C., Radar apparatus for imaging and / or spectrometric analysis and methods of performing imaging and / or spectrometric analysis of a substance for dimensional measurement, identification and precision radar mapping. 2005, 10/ 070,768: 1-37. Edinburgh, GB
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Atomic dielectric resonance, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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