A Better Anthrax Detector
Dr. Marlan O. Scully, a distinguished professor of physics, is researching a better way to detect anthrax. While science already can detect anthrax spores in the lab, today’s devices are not as promising as the one Scully and his fellow researchers in the Department of Physics are pursuing.
|Different images of anthrax.
SOURCE: Life Saving Cures
Applying the same kind of quantum mechanics that has allowed them to slow the speed of light to a crawl of a few meters per second, Scully and his team use lasers to make molecules in the air vibrate. Because different molecules vibrate at different frequencies, anthrax has a vibration “sigNature” that can readily distinguish it from pollen, for instance. Scully’s technology makes the molecules vibrate in a way that produces the tell-tale sigNatures faster and renders them more clearly. The research may one day yield compact anthrax detectors that can be stationed in public buildings to give quick and precise readings.
For more information, contact the Physics Department.
Contact: Mark Minton, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M College of Science; 979-862-1237; firstname.lastname@example.org
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