Scotch Tape science

scotch_tape_xray.jpg On one of yesterday’s visits with Mary Lucia on the Current, I mentioned the finding that under the right circumstances, you could use a roll of Scotch Tape to make an X-Ray.

Here’s the story on Nature News.

As long ago as 1953, a team of scientists based in Russia suggested that peeling sticky tape produced X-rays. But “we were very sceptical about the old results,” says Escobar (the researcher). His team decided to look into the phenomenon anyway, and found that X-rays were indeed given off, in high-energy pulses.

When the researchers placed a small plastic window in their vacuum chamber, they were even able to take an X-ray image of a finger, using a dental X-ray detector. Their results are published in Nature.

What can science do with this newfound knowledge? “The researchers suggest that the high charge density generated by peeling the tape could be great enough to trigger nuclear fusion,” the article said.

  • Great. Now the TSA will ban Scotch Tape from airplanes! How am I going to live my life now. (Is it only 3M Scotch Brand or any peeling of sticky tape?)

  • Bob

    Great. Now Homeland Insecurity will add Scotch tape to the list of potentially dangerous items that are banned from our luggage.

  • sm

    “a system that could provide fusion reactions at the flick of a switch would be very useful.” Sweet! Nuclear fusion powered cars! But then, would the exhausted tape be considered “hazardous waste”? Get the plastic-eating bacteria online, STAT.

  • brian

    “But then, would the exhausted tape be considered “hazardous waste”? ”

    I wonder if it would work with some sort of reusable glue, like a “sticky” note, thus making an environmentally friendlier tape powered car. (note the use of the generic term)

  • G-man

    So when grandma sends me a birthday gift I can see what’s inside before I open it because the tape gives me X-ray vision.