NASA plans to launch their next mission to Mars in 2009, and onboard will be the Mars Science Laboratory, a bigger, better incarnation of the two Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched in 2004. On board will be a tiny laser device about the size of a cell phone, which will be able to fingerprint minerals in the Martian soil and rocks. [...]
I know that Miami Police Department has about 220,000 spectra of all the illicit drugs that are out there in the world. You just take these things; you can shoot them and ten second later you know what they're holding: is it baby powder, is it cocaine? Really easy to tell. [...] He takes a bottle of Tylenol, a white plastic container and the pills are inside. You can shoot the Raman and a laser goes through that white plastic, it identifies the three parts of Tylenol and it tells you what the plastic is made out of. It works on leaves. I can identify the species of trees by shooting their leaves. [...] I have a friend who collects snakeskins, I shot the snakeskins and I can identify the species of snake. Last month researchers in Switzerland showed that with the Raman instrument they could detect breast cancer.
Current Music: The Start -- A Thousand Years ♬