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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Generate X-rays at your desk?

Generate X-rays using common household articles? In a McGuyver-type moment, somebody's done just that.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-sci-scotch-tape-surprise,0,2823194.story

if you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays. The researchers even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers.

Who knew? Actually, more than 50 years ago, some Russian scientists reported evidence of X-rays from peeling sticky tape off glass. But the new work demonstrates that you can get a lot of X-rays, a study co-author says.

"We were very surprised," said Juan Escobar. "The power you could get from just peeling tape was enormous."

Escobar, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, reports the work with UCLA colleagues in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.