Narrator: This is Science Today. Technology that was originally developed to check the quality of wine by a chemistry professor at the University of California, Davis, has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They're looking to develop a magnetic resonance scanner that could be placed in airports to check bottled liquids without having to open them.
Augustine: Never in my wildest dreams did this ever cross my mind that we would be doing Homeland Security work.
Narrator: Matthew Augustine originally invented the technology to check for spoilage of wine without opening bottles, but after a thwarted terrorist attack involving liquids, Augustine began to wonder if his technique could be used for more than just bad wine. Now, a prototype of a machine to check bottles and cans for explosives is being built in Augustine's lab.
take our sample, we put it down inside of this magnet, and also inside the
magnet, there's a radiofrequency coil, we bathe the sample in radio waves and
after 15, 20 seconds we hope that we're going to be able to detect threat
Narrator: For Science today, I'm Larissa Branin.