Cesar Moreno, who heads the "Plasma Focus" physics research group at the University of Buenos Aires, has co-developed a "non-conventional setup" for taking X-rays of metallic objects sans the need for nuclear hardware. Based on "plasma focus hard X-ray" technology, this newfangled approach differs from more traditional routes -- which require irradiating the items to be scanned with radioactive element -- by demanding only electricity and a rather large workspace. After seven years of toil (and potential exposure to incredible amounts of gene-altering radiation), he was finally able to display photos of a "camera, door lock, and a bolt fixated to a metal bar" as proof of a working machine. The device can reportedly take photographs that pass through any type of metal up to 25-millimeters thick (including moving objects) without a single "trace of radiation or heat generated during the process." Although Moreno has a lot of red tape to clear before we see his invention in radiography labs, the $10,000 prize he captured for his work should certainly provide adequate motivation to get things moving.

[Via The Inquirer]

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Plasma Focus researchers develop non-radioactive X-ray for metals