A new scanning method may be able to verify a nuclear bomb’s authenticity without revealing secrets about its design to the tester, Agence France-Presse reports.
“The goal is to prove with as high confidence as required that an object is a true nuclear warhead while learning nothing about the materials and design of the warhead itself,” Robert Goldston, a Princeton University astrophysics professor, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The technique may ultimately prove useful in carrying out monitoring activities under a strategic arms control treaty between Russia and the United States, according to AFP. It could also help to confirm any proliferation of nuclear arms to a government or nonstate actor, the wire service said.
The method — outlined in a Wednesday article in Nature — involves determining the contents of a possible bomb by counting how many neutrons from a directed energy beam can pass from one side to another, according to AFP. The findings are matched against a readout prepared in advance by the weapon’s owner, eliminating any need for the tester to view sensitive details on the bomb’s inner workings.
“This approach really is very interesting and elegant,” said Steve Fetter, an assistant head of the White House Science and Technology Policy Office. “The main question is whether it can be implemented in practice.”
An initiative to refine the method at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department.
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The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.