Piece work

Fisher, Richard
March 2005
Engineer (00137758);3/29/2005, Vol. 293 Issue 7671, p10
The article reports that a team at Liverpool University is building a gamma-ray scanner for airports that creates clear images of hidden drugs and explosives by piecing together their components like a jigsaw. Explosives or drugs universally comprise oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon in different quantities, and have a unique fingerprint based on the ratios of these four elements. The Liverpool researchers' device will bombard the bag or suitcase with neutrons, and any hidden explosives or drugs will release gamma rays from each of their four components at different energy levels.


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