The Newest New Thing

That Your Plume, or Are You Just Glad to See Me?

Tired of setting off airport metal detectors with your change, belt buckle or pacemaker? GARY SETTLES, director of the Penn State Gas Dynamics Lab, has an invention for you. According to Settles, the human body produces a column of warm air that rises from the feet to the top of one's head, catching constantly shedding skin cells. Settles even has a catchy name for this phenomenon: the human thermal plume. He has created a portal, similar to a walk-through metal detector, that can detect the presence of microscopic amounts of explosive material in the plume.

Travelers passing through the detector will...

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