Skip navigation
A. Technologies Used in Astrophysics Can Help Boost National Security

Narrator: This is Science Today. Technologies used in astrophysics are being leveraged at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for national security issues. Simon Labov, director of the lab's Radiation Detection Center, says they have been able to take advanced technologies used to study supernovae and adapt them for detecting radiation from nuclear materials.

Labov: We take this great scientific contribution and we said, hey, we can use that to make an inexpensive, small lightweight, portable detector system that you can carry in your pocket that can actually measure gamma rays wherever you happen to be.

Narrator: Labov says they're building a version of gamma ray detectors used in high powered telescopes for use in a cell phone/PDA combination with a GPS locating system.

Labov: So it always knows where it is and you can use that as a stand alone instrument - the inspectors and people like that may use it any time they come across something radioactive, they can find out what it is by using this instrument and making a measurement with it.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.