In 2006, a bunch of terrorists went ahead and ruined air travel for the rest of us. After the terrorists failed to bring liquid explosives onto a British flight, the airlines banned liquid carry-on items larger than 3.4 ounces. This forced us to leave shampoo at home and buy outrageously overpriced drinks by the gate, to say nothing of the flask of whiskey I liked to travel with.
Thankfully, some German scientists have devised a test that might return air travel to a civilized mode of transportation. By using electromagnetic radiation to calculate the chemical composition of a target liquid, researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich, an inter-disciplinary research center near Cologne, Germany, have cut the identification time for explosives down to 0.2 seconds.
Even more important, this method differs from the regular explosives detectors in that it can identify the precursors to explosives as well. The 2006 plot that started all this nonsense apparently involved terrorists mixing the common household items acetone and hydrogen peroxide together on the plane. Those two chemicals are safe by themselves, but when mixed in the presence of an acid, form explosive crystals.
The researchers are working to expand the database of liquid chemical signatures to further increase the fidelity of the test, and hope to reduce the size and expense of the machine to make it more practical for widespread use. Now, if they can only do something about having to take your shoes off...
I think I saw a video of this device. I saw it like two years ago and it was in development. on the screen the guard watches, it outlines or shades flammable matter red.
There was also a program in development for x-ray machines that can identify dangerous objects, and things that can be assembled into dangerous things(like a 9. mm pistol).
Perfect! Just as the airlines start getting stingier with baggage costs, soon they'll be able to catch you trying to carry your toiletries, then charge you a small fortune for being a pound overweight.
On the plus side, now I'll be able to shave in the mornings when I go to visit my folks, and won't have to share my kid sister's pink toothpaste and lavender-scented shampoo (the guest bedroom is closer to her bathroom than to the master bedroom suite)
Too little too late the terrorist won. Our freedoms are eroding.
In 1755 (Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, Tue, Nov 11, 1755), Franklin wrote: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
This phrasing was also the motto in Historical Review of Pennsylvania, attributed to Franklin