Dr John Bond, a forensic research scientist at the University of Leicester and scientific support manager at Northamptonshire Police, has worked with a team from the University Department of Chemistry to develop the novel technique.
The state-of-the-art forensic method that can identify fingerprints on bullets could now be used on bombs. The new techniques can pick up fingerprints on metal even after they have been wiped off.
After the research was published earlier this year, Dr Bond has been approached by military personnel in Afghanistan to discuss potential use of the technique.
Dr Bond is investigating whether the technique can be used to find prints on roadside bombs. It would mean recovered fragments of bombs could be tested for prints put on it while it was manufactured.
Dr Bond said " We have developed a method that enables us to ‘visualise fingerprints’ even after the print itself has been removed. We conducted a study into the way fingerprints can corrode metal surfaces. The technique can enhance – after firing– a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small calibre metal cartridge case before it is fired.
“For the first time we can get prints from people who handled a cartridge before it was fired. Wiping it down, washing it in hot soapy water makes no difference - and the heat of the shot helps the process we use.
“The procedure works by applying an electric charge to a metal - say a gun or bullet - which has been coated in a fine conducting powder, similar to that used in photocopiers.
“Even if the fingerprint has been washed off, it leaves a slight corrosion on the metal and this attracts the powder when the charge is applied, so showing up a residual fingerprint.
“The technique works on everything from bullet casings to machine guns. Even if heat vaporises normal clues, police will be able to prove who handled a particular gun.”
Dr Bond said they had found the method worked well on certain metals including brass which is often used for bullet casings.
Ather Mirza | alfa
Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel
The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Information Technology
05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences