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Photograph by Phillip Torrone

SAFETY SPECTROMETER

image Device identifies dangerous liquids by analyzing light.

By Eric Rosenthal

After air travel security banned bottled water and baby formula, I began wondering why they didn’t use a device to determine the contents of liquids. If a liquid was detected to be safe, security could allow it on the plane. Spectrometers can identify the chemical makeup of a material by shining light on it and analyzing the precise mix of colors that bounce back.

These devices are usually very expensive, but I’ve designed ...

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