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Detector

A solar flare observed by NASA and ESA's  Solar & Heliospheric Observatory on October 29 2...

Scientists may have hit upon a new means of predicting solar flares more than a day in advance, which hinges on a hypothesis dating back to 2006 that solar activity affects the rate of decay of radioactive materials on Earth. Study of the phenomenon could lead to a new system which monitors changes in gamma radiation emitted from radioactive materials, and if the underlying hypothesis proves correct, this could lead to solar flare advance warning systems that would assist in the protection of satellites, power systems and astronauts.  Read More

The SAPER mobile application uses the device's embedded magnetometer to turn a smartphone ...

With unexploded ordnance and land mines remaining a serious global problem, we’ve seen many efforts to develop new technology to detect these dangers, such as using terahertz waves and inkjet-printable sensors. But instead of relying on the development of new technology, some students at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have sought to use an existing one in a new way with the development of their SAPER explosives detection app for smartphones.  Read More

Japanese non-profit organization Radiation Watch has released a $46 Geiger Counter iPhone ...

In what seems to be a response to public fears about radiation levels following the Fukushima crisis, a Japanese organization called Radiation Watch has launched Pocket Geiger, a Geiger counter iPhone peripheral and accompanying app aimed at concerned individuals.  Read More

The WikiSense app and some black tape turns an iPhone 4 into a radiation detector

Earlier this month, we reported on the Scosche RDTX-Pro that connects via a dock connector to turn an iPhone or iPod touch into a radiation detector. That device is set to go on sale in Japan from next month but if you’re not in Japan or just don’t want to shell out extra cash on any peripheral hardware, then the WikiSensor app might be worth a look – it won't be as accurate, but the only extra bit of kit you’ll need is some opaque black tape.  Read More

The RDTX radiation detector from Scosche connects to an iPhone or iPod touch

As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, radiation detectors have been a popular item for Japanese consumers. Recognizing the market for such devices, last month Scosche – a company known for its car audio and iPod/iPhone accessories – released its RDTX-Pro radiation detector and app for iPhone and iPod touch in Japan. With that model apparently flying off the shelves – it is temporarily out of stock on Scosche’s website – the company has decided to expand the product line with the announcement of two new radiation detectors.  Read More

Adam Hutter, Director of NUSTL, presents Cecilia Murtagh (center) and Gladys Klemic with p...

Personal radiation dosimeter badges are the things that you may have seen people wearing in nuclear power plants, that measure how much radiation is in the immediate environment. Unfortunately, the devices don’t provide real-time feedback – instead, they must be sent off to a processing lab, which determines the wearer’s radiation exposure after the fact. Now, however, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is working on a wallet-sized card that would serve the same purpose, but that could also be read on the spot using a handheld reading device. Called the Citizen's Dosimeter, it could be used to detect the presence of ionizing radiation caused by nuclear accidents or dirty bombs.  Read More

Using commonly-available materials, scientists have created a biosensor that detects acute...

In this age of laser-etched microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices that analyze samples of bodily fluids on the spot, it's kind of ... fun, perhaps, to hear about a similar device that could conceivably be assembled by a grade school student, using their allowance money. The matchbox-sized sensor, developed by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, is designed to detect acute pancreatitis using blood samples. Important as its purpose may be, though, the materials used to build the device include things like household aluminum foil, milk, a 12-cent LED bulb, and JELL-O.  Read More

Cerevellum's Hindsight 30 will allow cyclists to see behind themselves, while a future mod...

Industrial designer Evan Solida started racing road bicycles in 1993, and went on to experience some success in the sport ... until he was hit by a car on a training ride in 2007. He flew over the hood of the car and landed on his face, which resulted in his requiring several cosmetic surgeries. Although physically still able to ride, he was left with a fear of being in another such accident, to the point that he stopped racing. The experience also, however, prompted him to invent a couple of unique devices – a rearview video setup for bikes, along with a “black box” system that automatically records any accidents the cyclist is involved in.  Read More

Researchers say their new spectrometer will help speed the cleanup of nuclear waste sites ...

The cleanup of sites contaminated by radioactivity, primarily from the historic production of nuclear weapons during and after World War II, continues to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Researchers have now invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that they say will be particularly useful for such cleanup efforts by making the process faster, more accurate and less expensive.  Read More

The handheld TATP detector prototype (Photo: Kenneth Suslick)

Much as we might hate having to take our shoes off when going through airport security, it’s become necessary ever since a terrorist managed to get a shoe bomb aboard an American Airlines flight in December of 2001. Unfortunately, the X-raying of shoes is not enough to detect triacetone triperoxide (TATP). This easily-made explosive has been used in several bombing attempts, and is very difficult to detect in an airport environment. It doesn't fluoresce, absorb ultraviolet light or readily ionize, and can only be detected with large, expensive equipment and extensive sample preparation. Now, chemists from the University of Illinois have announced a simple new way of detecting even minute concentrations of TATP, using a piece of plastic and a digital camera.  Read More

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