Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way of detecting concealed radioactive material: Sniffing out dirty bombs via electromagnetic breakdown of air

Date:
November 9, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Researchers in Maryland have proposed a scheme for detecting a concealed source of radioactive material without searching containers one by one. The concept is based on the gamma-ray emission from the radioactive material that would pass through the shipping container walls and ionize the surrounding air.

Researchers at the University of Maryland have proposed a scheme for detecting a concealed source of radioactive material without searching containers one by one. Detection of radioactive material concealed in shipping containers is important in the early prevention of "dirty" bomb construction.

Related Articles


The concept, described in the Journal of Applied Physics, is based on the gamma-ray emission from the radioactive material that would pass through the shipping container walls and ionize the surrounding air.

The facilitated breakdown of the air in a focused beam of high-power, coherent, terahertz or infrared radiation would then be an indicator of the presence of the radioactive material. The gamma rays coming through the container walls could be detected by a pulsed electromagnetic source of duration between 10 ns to microseconds.

The team evaluated several candidate sources for this detection, including a 670-GHz gyrotron oscillator with 200-kW, 10-s output pulses and a TEA CO2 laser with 30-MW, 100-ns output pulses. A system based on the 670-GHz gyrotron would have enhanced sensitivity and a range exceeding 10 m.

"It is not yet clear whether this approach to detection of nuclear material is practical," says first author professor Victor Granatstein, "but it is worth pursuing since it might impact an important need related to National Security."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Victor L. Granatstein, Gregory S. Nusinovich. Detecting excess ionizing radiation by electromagnetic breakdown of air. Journal of Applied Physics, 2010; 108 (6): 063304 DOI: 10.1063/1.3484044

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "New way of detecting concealed radioactive material: Sniffing out dirty bombs via electromagnetic breakdown of air." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109095320.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, November 9). New way of detecting concealed radioactive material: Sniffing out dirty bombs via electromagnetic breakdown of air. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109095320.htm
American Institute of Physics. "New way of detecting concealed radioactive material: Sniffing out dirty bombs via electromagnetic breakdown of air." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109095320.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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