Narrator: This is Science Today. A chemist at the University of California , Davis has come up with a way to check for liquid explosives – a method that could help counter terrorism experts working to protect air security. Matt Augustine built a machine using magnetic resonance that could scan bottles of wine for spoilage without opening them. This same technique could be used for checking passengers' items for explosives.
Augustine: They involve simple capacitors and a coil of wire. One takes the liquid sample, inserts it here into the probe assembly. This probe assembly is inserted into a ground sheath. The entire unit is then inserted into the magnet at which point we obtain the molecular fingerprint for the compounds in the liquid sample.
Narrator: The project has attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Augustine: Because of the obvious ability that it has to look inside of a sealed consumables container and determine whether or not you have flammable versus non-flammable liquids.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.