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T-ray Source Schematic  (Source: Argonne National Laboratory)
T-rays could improve medical diagnostics and airport security

Anyone who has flown on a commercial aircraft since 9/11 knows that the new security mechanisms that intend to keep us safe can be annoying as well. Few will argue that having to take off half your clothes just to get on an airplane might be considered excessive and time-consuming.

Earlier this month U.S. authorities participating in a TSA audit were able to smuggle components through checkpoints at major airports in the United States, even with alerted security measures. 

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new source of so-called T-rays that could lead to a totally new method of detecting weapons in airports as well as new medical diagnostic devices that don’t harm cells and work better than current devices.

T-rays, or terahertz rays, function similarly to x-rays or any other electromagnetic radiation. However, whereas x-rays radiate at frequencies above the visible light spectrum, t-rays operate just below it. High-frequency t-rays is actually low-frequency infra-red radiation. 

T-ray devices can penetrate leather, fabric, cardboard and paper but can’t penetrate metals or water. T-rays can also penetrate the human body by about half a centimeter making it appropriate for diagnosing medical problems.  Most technology in airports today use some form of x-ray technology instead, which can be harmful to passengers if used incorrectly. 

The lead scientist on the project, Ulrich Welp of the Argonne Materials Science Division and his team of international researchers have been able to produce t-rays using superconducting crystals grown at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.

The crystals are arranged into what’s called Josephson junctions, which exhibit special properties when electrical voltage is applied. Voltage applied to the crystals causes an alternating current to flow back and forth across the junctions at a frequency proportional to the voltage. Researchers found that tiny voltages of around two millivolts per junction could produce frequencies in the terahertz range.

The trick to producing t-rays is to get the around 1,000 stacked Josephson junctions to oscillate at the same frequency. Welp said, “That's been the challenge all along. If one junction oscillates up while another junction oscillates down, they'll cancel each other out and you won't get anything.”

The researchers were able to achieve the same oscillation frequency of the junctions by shaping the superconducting crystals into resonant cavities. Currently the researchers are able to generate t-rays in the 0.4 to 0.85 terahertz range with a signal power of up to 0.5 microwatts.

Welp says, “The more power you have, the easier it is to adopt this technology for all sorts of applications. Our data indicate that the power stored in the resonant cavities is significantly larger than the detected values, though we need to improve the extraction efficiency. If we can get the signal strength up to 1 milliwatt, it will be a great success."



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Surprise, surprise
By Hakuryu on 11/28/2007 3:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Earlier this month U.S. authorities participating in a TSA audit were able to smuggle components through checkpoints at major airports in the United States, even with alerted security measures.


This doesn't actually surprise me at all. At Cleveland Hopkins Airport, the security personnel are a step down from Wal Mart security. One lady had fingernails like 6 inches long and would wave them like they were pointers - which she did pointing out Burger King when she let me through the checkpoint without a plane ticket.

They made my 85 year old great aunt stop and take off her shoes. I'm sure retired kindergarden teachers are high on the watch list for explosive shoes.

In this effort to be fair and not single out people by race/religion, we are letting people get through security with potentially harmful items. I'm not middle eastern, so I can't really say I understand how someone like that feels with being singled out... but if all terrorists came from Germany, I would expect to be stopped (and I don't think I'd have a problem with it - unless I was late to get on the plane).




RE: Surprise, surprise
By mdogs444 on 11/28/2007 4:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but if all terrorists came from Germany, I would expect to be stopped (and I don't think I'd have a problem with it - unless I was late to get on the plane).


Its good to see people out there who dont complain about this whole "racial profiling" crap. Who cares if we are looking more closely at middle easterners. If they are clean, we're still letting them in...but national security is more important than people complaining about racial profiling.

But as Hakuryu said, it takes longer to get through lines....so go early. Dont complain that you miss your flight because you were supposed to be there 2 hrs early and showed up 1 hr early.

Besides, its better that we make every effort for the plans to depart and arrive SAFELY, than ON TIME.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By jtemplin on 11/28/2007 7:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
Well mdogs, I don't really agree that it is good to know there are people out there
quote:
who dont complain about this whole "racial profiling" crap
This highlights at least one piece of information...you must be white. I too happen to share this trait with you, but at times it seems nothing more.

Consider the case of Dr. Elmo Randolph who had been stopped over 100 times on the NJ Turnpike. Dr. Randolph is an african american dentist driver of a BMW who was pulled over by troopers believing he was "driving the wrong car" implying that it was stolen or that there might be drugs or weapons in the car. Him and his co-plaintiffs won a 775,000 suit against the State.

Link: http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialprofiling/...

In 1999 the NJ State Police did a study on the race of people stopped by their troopers. The study found that while people of color represented 13.5% of Turnpike drivers they were 41% of those stopped and 77% of people who were stopped and subsequently searched.

Now in an airport I think the extra measure needs to be taken to combat terrorism and Bush seems to agree as in 2003 he banned racial and ethnic profiling by any federal law enforcement agency EXCEPT in the course of investigations involving terrorism and national security.

Are you endorsing racism with comments like that? I just don't understand where you're coming from...


RE: Surprise, surprise
By mdogs444 on 11/28/2007 9:24:56 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Are you endorsing racism with comments like that? I just don't understand where you're coming from...

No absolutely not. In fact, my best freinds are Indian (not native indian), and I also have very good friends who are chinese, japanese, russian, black, etc.

I dont think anyone, including myself, are condoning racism just for the fact of being a racist. But targeting an ethnic group as a means of national security in my book is not racial profiling. Targeting a black person driving a nice car because it doesnt seem right that its his car just proves that the officer is ignorant to the fact that someone of another race is successful.

Lets be honest here, the issues of race have always been an issue going back to the days of kane & abel. Its not going away anytime soon, whether we like it or not. And its the democratic leaders that are forcing this racial acceptance upon everyone in the US, and using media outlets to do, and it is becoming distasteful to people here.

For example, I have no issues with anyone of mexican heritage. I do however have an issue with mexicans who are here illegally, and many of them are taking advantage of our tax dollars. When I look at a mexican person speaking spanish and thinking to myself, I wonder if this person is here illegally, does that make me a racist? No. Is that racial profiling? Perhaps, but its my right to raise that question. Could it be considered a valid question out of sake for national security? Absolutely.

So does racial profiling to target mexicans to find out if they are here illegally make anyone a racist? No.

But on the other hand, does Nancy Pelosi's bill to not allow american business owners to require their employees to speak english make those business owners racist? no. it means that english is the native language of america, and to maximize profits, business owners reserve the right to only hire people who can properly communicate with their target audience. Seems to me, that more and more, the liberal left of america are being more racist against their citizens than they are illegals.

But to answer your question, no I'm not racist at all. But I believe our country reserves the right to target anyone or any race they want, in order to find out who they are, why they are here, what they are planning on doing here. Not just for future security purposes, but the current ones as well.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By mdogs444 on 11/28/2007 9:29:12 PM , Rating: 4
But also, if you want to look at the other side of the coin regarding race, why is that the black population makes up roughly 12% of the american population, but nearly 50% of the prison population? Its a typical civil rights response to quicly point out that blacks are being targeted more than whites....when the reality is simply that there is higher percentage of the black population than the white population who actually commit these crimes.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By jtemplin on 11/29/2007 10:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
Typical civil rights response? Man I sure hate when people fight for equality...sucks don't it?

Which came first? Blacks being targeted by police or a disproportionate black prison population? The fact is you haven't proved the temporal sequence of this causal relationship you are suggesting. This relationship may well be spurious.

There is a "hidden figure" of crime rates. Much crime occurs without police ever knowing, and in fact where you look has a lot to do with what you find. Looking at incarceration rates can be especially misleading. Black men being convicted more frequently than white men does not prove that crime is being perpetrated more frequently by black men.

The police may very well be looking more closely at the black population, and arrest and convict them selectively. Realize that police resources ? true crime rate. There is not a 1:1 relationship between offending and apprehending, so you really have to look carefully at who and where is being policed, and not just assume the numbers tell the whole story. Buying into that so easily is a form of neo-racism. If you want to give neo-racist ideas a #5 rating people go right ahead. But there are some people who will not stand aside and let such ideas stand unchallenged.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By FastLaneTX on 11/29/2007 2:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
There's a disconnect here. A higher percentage of black offenders are convicted. A higher percentage of black convicts are imprisoned. Neither of those is really debatable, but neither is really the point either.

The problem is that they're not committing more crimes because they're black. If you break the DOJ stats down enough, you'll see that crime rates (and conviction rates, and imprisonment rates) are almost perfectly related to income, regardless of race. Since a higher percentage of blacks are poor, a higher percentage commit crimes, are caught, are convicted, and are imprisoned. And that's not going to change until the poverty problem changes.

Of course, the high conviction/imprisonment rate is a primary factor in the poverty rate, with many blacks unable to get decent jobs or educations, kids growing up without fathers, etc. It's a vicious cycle, and there's no obvious way out.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By jtemplin on 11/29/2007 10:42:06 AM , Rating: 2
Typical civil rights response? Man I sure hate when people fight for equality...sucks don't it?

Which came first? Blacks being targeted by police or a disproportionate black prison population? The fact is you haven't proved the temporal sequence of this causal relationship you are suggesting. This relationship may well be spurious.

There is a "hidden figure" of crime rates. Much crime occurs without police ever knowing, and in fact where you look has a lot to do with what you find. Looking at incarceration rates can be especially misleading. Black men being convicted more frequently than white men does not prove that crime is being perpetrated more frequently by black men.

The police may very well be looking more closely at the black population, and arrest and convict them selectively. Realize that police resources ? true crime rate. There is not a 1:1 relationship between offending and apprehending, so you really have to look carefully at who and where is being policed, and not just assume the numbers tell the whole story. Buying into that so easily is a form of neo-racism. If you want to give neo-racist ideas a #5 rating people go right ahead. But there are some people who will not stand aside and let such ideas stand unchallenged.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By jtemplin on 11/29/2007 10:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
stupid browser...


RE: Surprise, surprise
By Fritzr on 11/28/2007 10:33:07 PM , Rating: 2
Racial profiling works as long as your target doesn't catch on. A drug to treat heart attacks was recently withdrawn from testing due to it's preference for 'blacks'. Since this drug refuses to treat all races equally it is no good.

Terrorism on the other hand is done by people who study their targets and are quite willing to change their methods to suit the situation. So since people who appear to be Arab or one of the other racial types that are "typical terrorist" are being selectively targeted for security screening while whites and other "safe" racial types get waved through, you are going to see more white terrorists. This is already occurring in Europe. White insurgents from Western countries have been caught in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Racial profiling at security checkpoints will be matched by racial profiling at the terrorist recruiting level.


RE: Surprise, surprise
By Ringold on 11/28/2007 5:12:33 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
This doesn't actually surprise me at all. At Cleveland Hopkins Airport, the security personnel are a step down from Wal Mart security. One lady had fingernails like 6 inches long and would wave them like they were pointers - which she did pointing out Burger King when she let me through the checkpoint without a plane ticket.


Never know, those might've been razor-sharp and she could've been highly trained in the martial arts. Perhaps she could single-handedly slaughter a dozen Jihadists.

Or maybe she was a minimum wage high school dropout hired by the lowest bidder for a government contract.

Guess we'll never know.. :\


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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