Explosion Video of the Week: TATP

Why you can't bring liquids through airport security

Turn up your sound and chemist Gerard Harbison will explain it all. The tiny white thing sitting in front of the orange water balloon contains a mere 1/60th of an ounce of triacetone triperoxide (TATP), the chosen detonator of would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid. (Note: TATP is still explosive when it’s wet, so it’s probably one of the reasons for the TSA’s draconian rules about liquids.)

Add a 9-volt battery and KABOOM.

But there’s good news.

At the American Chemical Society meeting this week, Gerard Harbison, a chemist of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, shared data that refutes Internet rumors that people had synthesized a even more dangerous cousin of TATP, tetracetone tetraperoxide (TeATeP). His computer analyses (far safer than trying to cook this stuff up) concluded that TeATeP isn’t stable enough to make an effective weapon.

Credit for the video: Gerard Harbison, Ph.D.

[Via EurekAlert]