Laser identifies explosive powders 400 meters away | Science News


Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.

Science Ticker

A roundup of research
and breaking news

Science News Staff
Science Ticker

Laser identifies explosive powders 400 meters away

green laser light flash

GREEN LIGHT An intense flash from random Raman lasing contains clues useful for distinguishing between similar-looking powders from far away.

Sponsor Message

Guest post by Thomas Sumner

A lightning-fast laser lightshow could help detect explosive powders from a distance, a study in the August 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests.

The researchers took advantage of a physical phenomenon known as Raman scattering, in which some of the light shining on a surface interacts with the material’s vibrating molecules before scattering away. The frequency of this scattered light serves as a fingerprint of the material. The researchers found they could use short pulses of green light to distinguish between explosive and inert powders from 400 meters away.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Matter & Energy articles

From the Nature Index Paid Content