X-Rays Could Safely Destroy Chemical/Biological Weapons

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Bacillus_anthracis_GramDestroying chemical weapons quickly and effectively is becoming increasingly important as chemical and biological weapons become an ever-present threat amid evolving technology.  Yet finding a way to do so using a compact, portable source has eluded us, until now.

Young K. Bae, Ph.D., founder of the Y.K. Bae Corp., has developed a technique using “warm dense matter” (WDM), material that exists under extreme temperature and pressure conditions similar to that found in stars, to create powerful X-rays that can safely destroy chemicals.

In the early 1990s Bae discovered that atoms in a warm dense matter state are crushed together, triggering fusion in the electron shells of neighboring atoms. When the pressure is relaxed the atoms bounce back, releasing X-ray energy. Since his initial discovery Bae has refined this method of creating energy with a tabletop device that uses tiny spheres of carbon atoms called buckyballs to create pulses of X-rays.

This technology is especially significant in terms of neutralizing chemicals while they are still in their containers, preventing potential toxic contamination over a wide area, and has captured the attention of the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), according to an article in Popular Science this month.

Beyond its chemical weapons application, the technology for producing X-rays from a desktop apparatus could also be used commercially in the production of small scale computer chips  for example, or in nuclear fusion research, helping scientists harness the power of the sun, according to Bae.

Still in its early stages, research continues on this potentially transformative technology.

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