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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Republican House leaders are planning on taking up a vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act as soon as the lame-duck session begins in mid-November. The law, which expires on Dec. 31, permits a host of sanctions against Iran's industries, defense, and government. The renewal will likely pass the House, but its status is unclear once it reaches the Senate, and a spokesman from the White House refused to say whether President Obama would sign it into law.
Just two weeks from Nov. 8, Donald Trump's campaign is not scheduling anymore high-dollar fundraisers, the type which usually benefit the Republican Party as a whole. The move comes as a surprise and could be a big blow to the GOP's turnout operations. Many down-ballot candidates are relying on the party apparatus to turn out voters in their districts and/or states, something that could be compromised. The last formal fundraiser occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."