Tag: bombs

How to Peek Inside Containers and Detect Bombs? Try Lasers

By Sarah Zhang | March 2, 2012 7:56 am

spacing is important
The Raman spectrometer emits a laser beam.

What’s the News: Using a laser, a super-strong telescope, and some physics know-how, researchers say they have impressive power to look through solid barriers. Scientists have developed a technique to do so using Raman scattering, which is the change in energy of photons bouncing off a material. The technique could be used to detect hidden explosives or do geological analysis.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts

Bees Not Bombs: Venom Protein Makes Fluorescing Explosive Detector

By Veronique Greenwood | May 10, 2011 3:24 pm

bees

What’s the News: The next generation of bomb detectors may come from an unusual source: bee venom, the stuff that hurts like all get-out when you get stung. A team of researchers at MIT have used fluorescent carbon nanotubes and venom proteins called bombolitins that bind to single molecules of explosives like TNT to create an exquisitely sensitive detector.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Technology

Father of Neutron Bomb, "The Most Moral Weapon," Dies

By Andrew Moseman | December 2, 2010 3:57 pm

Sam CohenSamuel T. Cohen had a different view of warfare than most, and it’s no surprise—he invented one of history’s most controversial weapons, the neutron bomb. He died on Sunday.

Cohen’s ingenious, deadly device actually packed far less destructive power than typical nuclear weapons (which he worked on with the Manhattan Project during World War II). The neutron bomb’s detonation sent out a barrage of neutrons, the neutral subatomic particles in atoms, that passed right though inorganic material but killed living things within its blast radius.

All nuclear explosions produce a rain of potentially lethal neutrons, uncharged particles from an atom’s nucleus, and Mr. Cohen, by adjusting components and reshaping the bomb shell, limited the blast and released more energy as neutrons. [The New York Times]

After the Manhattan Project, Cohen went to work for the RAND Corporation, where he developed his bomb.

He said the inspiration for the neutron bomb was a 1951 visit to Seoul, which had been largely destroyed in the Korean War. In his memoir, he wrote: “If we are going to go on fighting these damned fool wars in the future, shelling and bombing cities to smithereens and wrecking the lives of their inhabitants, might there be some kind of nuclear weapon that could avoid all this?” [Los Angeles Times]

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Physics & Math, Technology
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

80beats

80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »