Scientists and engineers in Idaho are on the cutting edge of keeping people safe from weapons of mass destruction.
The Idaho Accelerator Center has developed portable devices to detect some of the most dangerous stuff on earth.
"Over time we built a reputation for being able to detect bad stuff, meaning nuclear, chemical, and maybe even biological,” IAC Director Doug Wells said.
The particle accelerator sends out a beam to excite dangerous radioactive or chemical material, and is much more sensitive than other methods of detection.
"Its kind of like shining your flashlight in the dark and you can see two eyes of a mountain lion and your eyes are the detector. In this case the flashlight is the accelerator,” Wells said.
South Korea has enlisted the center's help in detection.
Kevin Folkman was one of those sent to South Korea, an engineer.
"I build the hardware. I'm the toy maker,” Folkman said.
Those toys he builds are all the kinds of particle accelerators, each with different purposes.
He said there are other centers that have accelerators and do research, but what gets ISU gets international esteem because it focuses on real world applications.
"Not only are we capable of producing some hardware, but we also have the personnel and the brain power to do such things. And we've been doing this sort of thing for a long time,” Folkman said.