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Why should you not take a notebook computer through a metal detector?

  • Thread starter lampshader
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  • #1
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Homework Statement



I have always been told to remove anything metal before walking through a metal detector. Why is it bad to take a laptop through a metal dector? How can I give me answer in the language of physics?

I cannot just say that it will probably scramble my internal memory and data. I cannot just say because I am afraid of what will happen.



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The Attempt at a Solution


Homework Statement





Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
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I have always been told to remove anything metal before walking through a metal detector. Why is it bad to take a laptop through a metal dector? How can I give me answer in the language of physics?
You remove anything metal because that's what they are trying to detect!
If you are carrying a metal laptop the detector is going to go off -if you have a metal laptop under your arm, they don't know if you also have a gun!

A metal detector that you walk through doesn't have a field strong enough to do anything to a laptop.
X-ray machines (or rather the coil that drives them) might disrupt the memory of something that is running but a reboot will cure that - they are unlikely to do any permanent damage.
 

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