DAVIS, Calif. (CNN) — There may soon be a time when air travelers won’t have to put their shampoos and make-up in a plastic bag.
A professor in California has developed a scanner that can detect explosive liquids. His invention started with a bottle of wine.
Because a professor invented a way to scan the chemical content of unopened wine bottles nine years ago, millions of air travelers are about to benefit from a new application of his discovery.
University of California-Davis chemist Matthew Augustine says, “This can look inside of liquids without harming the bottle and see what’s inside of the container.”
Chemistry professor Matthew Augustine is working with homeland security and he’s already demonstrated that dangerous or explosive liquids can be detected. According to the professor the secret to sniffing the contents inside of a container is low field radio waves, very similar to an MRI.
Augustine says, “Different compounds absorb different radio frequencies, and if you can track that with high resolution you can determine the chemical compounds.”
TSA wants a small scanner, meaning that this equipment must be miniaturized. Augustine says, “What we envision is essentially a 2 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot box right? that’s connected to a laptop computer.”
The professor says a scanner could be ready for testing in about a year. Professor Augustine says he’ll keep working on the project until the final commercial scanner is built.