Soon, crystal ball may reveal terrorists’ threats

Scientists at Wake Forest University and Fisk University have partnered to develop crystals that can be used to detect nuclear threats, radioactive material or chemical bombs more accurately and affordably.

The research is made possible by a 900,000-dollar grant from the Office of Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development of the National Nuclear Security Administration, within the U.S. Department of Energy.

The grant will support both universities’ continued research in the area of radiation detection, which ultimately could lead to improved detector devices for screening cargo containers at ports, airports and border crossings.

It would detect trace amounts of radioactive or chemical material – similar to a CT scan or PET scan detecting a tumour in the human body – and lead to better medical diagnostics.

“This grant is an acknowledgement of Fisk and Wake Forest’s excellence and leadership in the field of radiation detection research,” said Fisk University Professor of Physics and Vice Provost Arnold Burger.

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