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Nanoparticles Used To Create Thermal 'Barcodes'

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the 'coz-what-he-thought-was-H20-was-NHN02 dept.

Technology 26

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes 'Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, have developed nanoparticles with distinct melting points, which they suggest be used as forensic "barcodes" to identify the origins and integrity of things such as explosives and currency [PDF]. To demonstrate the technique, the researchers used the explosive, TNT, as a test case. Commenting on the viability of the approach, researcher Dr Ming Su said, 'The nanoparticle does not participate in any chemical reaction, and it will not effect the function of the existing object. The only thing it will do is to provide a thermal signature.' He added, 'Nanoparticles are so small, they can be put into any objects.' The BBC has more approachable coverage.'

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affect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47173613)

I guess Dr. Ming Su is a fucking idiot. Or maybe it's just the slashfag editors. It's "affect", you ignorant faggot editors.

Re:affect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47177035)

Yeah, I don't think pointing out like that will have the effect you're looking for.

P.S. Stop hiding, it's 2014, it's okay.

Re:affect (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 4 months ago | (#47177331)

Slashfag is not a word you moron. Learn to spell.

Re:affect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47192061)

"Effect" is also a verb, meaning to cause something to happen. The way it's used ("will not effect the function of the existing object") could mean it will not cause the function of the object to happen, and since they're talking about explosives, could mean that the act of adding the nanoparticles won't cause the TNT to explode.

Oblig xkcd [xkcd.com]

Gunpower (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47173667)

push to embed lot number in gunpowder in 3..2...

(which would do absolutely nothing except increase the price)

Re:Gunpower (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#47173749)

So you make your own.

Re:Gunpower (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47173909)

Carbon + Sulphur + Salt Peter, right?

Hey, if the Chinese could figure it out 2000 years ago...

Re:Gunpower (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47174045)

The Chinese invented many [listverse.com] many [vhinkle.com] things.

Re:Gunpower (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47174131)

Didn't mean to disparage the Chinese, was pointing out that it's not like gunpowder is some newfangled technology that's easy to regulate and control.

Side note - the mechanical clock in the second link is pretty cool, I'd love to see someone recreate it.

from the polywater guys (1)

jcomeau_ictx (696704) | about 4 months ago | (#47173693)

thanks for helping enable the surveillance state to ratchet things up a notch, WPI. why can't you go back to making polywater, like back in the 70s?

Re:from the polywater guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47173795)

Follow the money.

Re:from the polywater guys (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 4 months ago | (#47174993)

~scans nanoparticle~
"We've got him."

Re:from the polywater guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47175307)

I expect the crooks will just add their own nanoparticles to the mix to obscure any fingerprinting. Make it look like your explosives came from another country or group, sit back with the popcorn when Seal Team 6 knocks on the (wrong) fingerprinted door.

Re:from the polywater guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47176457)

I'm a WPI grad, and I have been on slashdot for a since the 90s. I was thrilled to see WPI on slashdot for the first time that I can recall! I wasn't aware of polywater, but looking it up I can not find any connections to WPI (soviet union created, researched at Bell Labs -- a nobel prize generator). WPI may be a small school, but it has helped create stainless steel, liquid fuel rockets (Goddard was a WPI grad), etc (see http://www.wpi.edu/about/history/profiles.html). When I was at WPI it was in the top 40 of US schools, and quickly plummeted under the rule of Dennis Berkey. I'm hoping the new president can restore it somewhat to justify the exorbitant amount of money I spent on my education, but your comment is completely unfounded.

Re:from the polywater guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47178659)

*Not original poster* I was thinking some of the same things. Although it is good for the institution, I wonder what applications this technology will be (ab)used for?

What's this then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47173743)

Except for a lot of voicing of otherwise unsubstantiated possibilities and some pretty pictures without much explanation as to what they mean or why they should be coloured exactly that way, I don't really see much substance to these claims. What is it that's happening and how is it different from chemical tagging methods that are already {known to be feasible,in use}?

OT (sorry). Re Adverts on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47174695)

I'm logged in as me but posting as a nonymouse here - but I'm seeing adverts all over slashdot today despite having my "Ads Disabled" box checked.

Is there something wrong with /. today?

Re:OT (sorry). Re Adverts on slashdot (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 4 months ago | (#47174849)

Yeah, I'm seeing the same thing - and am not posting as AC. But regardless of whether I check the No ads box or not, I keep seeing the Ads. What's more - I don't have Flash installed on my laptop under either IE or FF (and do not have Chrome) and yet, I'm seeing not just ads, but animated ads.

Has /. decided to disable the ad disabling mechanism for those who don't switch to beta?

Re:OT (sorry). Re Adverts on slashdot (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 4 months ago | (#47176469)

I'm seeing the same thing.

Asbestos dust anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47175009)

This could turn out bad.

Re:Asbestos dust anyone? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 4 months ago | (#47175793)

Personally I'd be more concerned about the explosion that released the nanoparticles, rather than the nanoparticles themselves.

Re:Asbestos dust anyone? (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 4 months ago | (#47176073)

And worthless if that stuff for IDing sources of explosive components is anything to go on (which I'm not even sure if this isn't the same stuff just with an attempt at a wider sell...). It becomes useless when it eventually gets everywhere, aside from potential cellular toxicity.

Melting point (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about 4 months ago | (#47175201)

The idea is interesting, but once the particle has been melted, I assume that it can't be verified again. If that's the case then no matter how many of these tagging particles are added to a given object, it can only be verified a finite number of times.

Re:Melting point (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 4 months ago | (#47175799)

The way I read it was that the explosion melted the particles, not the verification step. So once melted you can verify it as many times as you want.
Plus they are small so you can cram a lot in to the explosive.

Re:Melting point (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about 4 months ago | (#47176465)

Good point. That makes sense for explosives, but I was thinking about currency. It's not like you want to destroy money or bearer bonds to determine whether they're genuine.

First thought that comes to mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47179917)

Could you put it in gold as a marker? Isn't gold great for melting down with no trace?

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