R. MAISONNEUVE, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY R. MAISONNEUVE, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Airport X-ray machine. A gun inside a leather suitcase is revealed by an airport X-ray machine. Airport X-ray machines scan hand luggage for weapons used by terrorists and hijackers - such as guns or bombs. Metal objects block the rays, leav- ing dark shadows on the image. Bombs can be identified by the tell-tale fragments of circuitry controlling the detonator. The most sophisticated machines can even detect plastic explosives such as semtex. X-ray checks are only as efficient as the guards watching them, however. Most people would spot a gun in profile, but seen end-on it is harder to recognise.
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