Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel NIST Spectroscopic Method Can Detect Terrorist Threats

Date:
May 29, 2003
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
A novel technique that uses far-infrared (terahertz) radiation to rapidly identify bulk or airborne materials inside sealed paper or plastic containers has been demonstrated by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and SPARTA Inc., of Rosslyn, Va.

A novel technique that uses far-infrared (terahertz) radiation to rapidly identify bulk or airborne materials inside sealed paper or plastic containers has been demonstrated by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and SPARTA Inc., of Rosslyn, Va. Described at a recent technical conference,* the technology has potential applications in homeland security such as detection of explosives in the mail or other non-metallic portable containers. The method involves directing a far-infrared light source at a sample in a closed container, detecting the light transmitted through the materials, and then analyzing the light that was absorbed by the sample while making adjustments for the light absorbed by the container. Far-infrared radiation, which falls between visible light and radio waves on the electromagnetic spectrum, is partially transmitted through many materials. The pattern of light frequencies or spectra absorbed by a material depends specifically on the vibrations of the material's atoms and its crystalline structure.

This method can readily identify compounds made of molecules containing three to hundreds of atoms, the size of many threat materials. The two instruments employed, one using a pulsed laser and the other a glowing filament, are tabletop-sized and work at room temperature. Two years of experiments have demonstrated that the technique detects aerosols (such as those that might contain anthrax spores), pharmaceutical powders, most gases, several explosives and other common materials. The researchers have compiled a database of spectral characteristics for more than 100 materials and developed an automated software tool for rapidly identifying bulk materials based on their absorption spectra.

Further research aims to increase the sensitivity and throughput speed of the technology.

###

Campbell, M.B. and Heilweil, E.J., "Non-invasive detection of weapons of mass destruction using THz radiation," in Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 5070 Terahertz for Military and Security Applications, edited by R. Jennifer Hwu, Dwight Woolard, (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2003) in press.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Novel NIST Spectroscopic Method Can Detect Terrorist Threats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030529080915.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2003, May 29). Novel NIST Spectroscopic Method Can Detect Terrorist Threats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030529080915.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Novel NIST Spectroscopic Method Can Detect Terrorist Threats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030529080915.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins