The Dirty Bomb Detector

The first handheld radiation detector


The 10-pound prototype Cryo3 is the first handheld radiation detector, not only allowing security personnel to quickly check for radiation anywhere but also to determine the exact amount and type. Gamma and X rays emitted from so-called dirty bombs interact with a high-purity geranium crystal at the unit's core to create a unique charge, which is analyzed by a computer to determine the radioactive isotope. The device, a joint effort of Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Livermore national labs, could be in use as early as next year.