The US department of Homeland security have allocated $103.9 million to research and development of a new method of detecting Nuclear Radiation. The aim of the research is to make US ports of entry safe from illicit entry of nuclear devices and bombs. Though the project is still in its development phase, research has created an ultra-sensitive detector that can pinpoint solitary ions.

How can this new detector safeguard America?

The newly developed device can be used to monitor ports of entry of people carrying possible radioactive material. This is especially useful in detecting terrorists with "dirty" bombs’ or small-scale nuclear devices.

It works like a Geiger counter that can accurately detect minute traces of radiation. This ultra-sensitive detector will allow security personnel to scan possible threats at a safe distance and can also provide an early warning to intercept nuclear devices hidden in parcels or baggage. If the development is completed, guards and people in customs will have the chance to use this new device to safeguard US airports from enemy threats.

Who developed the new ultra-sensitive detector?

The detector is the result of interdisciplinary research conducted by Swastik Kar, Associate Professor in the department of Physics and Yung Joon Jung, both from Northeastern University. They used carbon nanotubes to help create an ultra-sensitive detector and they are planning this not only for defense use, but for medical purposes as well.

Their device can be used to streamline radio medicine, radiation therapy, and improve diagnostic capabilities. It can also be used to map areas, which can be handy for space and extraterrestrial expeditions.

What is the current development stage of the new nuclear radiation detector?

At the moment, the ultra-sensitive detector is in the prototype stage, though a working sample of this device is still being tweaked as its developers will try to incorporate x-ray detection. The project has massive potential for both the military and medicine, along with helping to make America safer and healthier.