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Superscanner helps scientists see into the unknown
Date:9/10/2009

Researchers at The University of Nottingham have a new weapon in their arsenal of tools to push back the boundaries of science, engineering, veterinary medicine and archaeology.

From soils and sediments, to chunks of pavement, archaeological remains and chocolate bars... the Nanotom, the most advanced 3D X-ray micro Computed Tomography (CT) scanner in the world, will help scientists from a wide variety of departments across the University literally see through solids. The machine will make previously difficult and laborious research much easier as it allows researchers to probe inside objects without having to break into them.

The Nanotom has been supplied by GE Sensing and Inspection Technologies as part of a new project in the School of Biosciences to scan soil samples for research into soil- plant interactions. But it's also an interdisciplinary piece of kit which will be used by other Schools for a wide variety of projects.

At least eight University departments will use the Nanotom. From scanning lichens in Biology, to sustainable building materials in the Built Environment, windblown sediments in Geography, and even animal muscle tissues in Veterinary Science, the machine will be a popular resource and at the moment, the only one of its kind at a British university. The Nanotom will also be hired out to private companies outside the University as a source of revenue that will help fund it.

CT is a very powerful tool that allows us to see the internal structure of an object that might be otherwise hidden from view. As well as its widespread use in healthcare, CT also has many applications in research and industry in the fields of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of solids. It's used to carry out dimensional measurements, assembly checks, testing for the location and analysis of compositional defects. The University's new machine will produce high-resolution 3D and slice images of solids
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Contact: Dr. Sacha Mooney
sacha.mooney@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-6257
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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