Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working on new technology that could reinstate at least one freedom for air travelers: carrying liquids through security.
LANL scientist Michelle Espy recently revealed a liquid scanner at the Albuquerque Sunport that reads through closed bottles and aluminum cans to tell security agents whether the liquid is safe.
"So bottles can be sealed," Espy said. "You don't have to open them; it's OK if there's foil, it's OK if they're a can."
Espy said the machine takes about 15 seconds to read what's inside each bottle. But there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out. A scan of orange juice in a plastic bottle took nearly double the expected time at 27 seconds.
But scientists said they eventually want the machine to scan liquids within a second, much like the X-ray machines that now look through luggage.