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Nanoparticles Used To Create Thermal 'Barcodes' 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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Nanoparticles Used To Create Thermal 'Barcodes'

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  • 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?
  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

What is research but a blind date with knowledge? -- Will Harvey