Like that is going to help

It’s a pleasant fantasy but the people offering these sort of solutions either don’t understand the problem or don’t want to face reality. From one of our wonderful government laboratories:

Los Alamos Lab developing liquid scanner for airport security

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are developing a new type of scanner that can distinguish liquids blaring out a warning for bad ones, like explosives, while letting through good ones, like water.

They will be able to scan bottles as big as a “magnum-sized champaign bottle,” Espy said.

“Apparently the whole duty-free thing is suffering, and people can’t carry their liquor on airplanes anymore,” Espy said. “It’s been disruptive to commerce. So, that’s one of the benefits of this.”

Software upgrades could add new liquids to the device’s detection list if any new threats arise, she said.

“The nice thing about this system is it’s not tuned to any specific threats,” Espy said. “As new materials of concern arise, it can be adapted to detect those.”

Even after the scanner is in place we still won’t be able to take liquor on airplanes–unless they are going to allow ethanol on board. In which case I need to demonstrate how to make an “explosive” out of ethanol. It would be tough to get a true detonation but in the enclosed space of an airplane cabin it just won’t matter whether the speed of propagation is greater than or less than the speed of sound.

And if they stop letting people take liquid hydrocarbons on board I’ll demonstrate the same sort of thing is possible with bread flour, powdered sugar, or coffee creamer. And when they ban those let them build a scanner that is sensitive to powdered human hair.

And those ideas are all taking the direct “brute force” approach. There are lots of other, much more subtle, ways to defeat airport “security”. TSA is backward for A Security Theater. It’s time we considered the alternatives.