Who knew that an ordinary roll of Scotch (TM) tape could be used to create Xrays?
Apparently, the Russians did in the 1950’s, but it was never developed. Researchers at UCLA have been toying with the power that comes from peeling tape from a roll in a vacuum. In fact, a mere piece of tape can produce an enormous amount of power, which surprised researchers. In an article being published in the Journal Nature, researchers are suggesting that the finding could lead to the production of inexpensive and easy-to-use equipment that could be used by paramedics on accident scenes or for places where electricity is not available.
The researchers have applied for a patent to protect their work. In this new research, a machine was used to peel ordinary Scotch tape off a roll in a vacuum chamber at about 1.2 inches per second. This caused rapid pulses of X-rays, each about a billionth of a second long, to emerge from very close to where the tape was coming off the roll. And that is where electrons jumped from the roll to the sticky underside of the tape that was being pulled away, As those electrons touched the sticky part of the tape, they slowed down, emitting readable Xrays.
So the question is, does this pose a danger for those of us slaving over wrapping paper this coming holiday season? Not so much. The research shows that this only works in a vacuum, and most of us are not wrapping presents in a vacuum.
So, no excuse for use geeks to not be wrapping presents this year. Dang it.