Potentially life-saving laser detection technology to be discussed on CJAM

A physics professor who is researching methods of using laser technology to detect the presence of potentially life-threatening bacteria on the surfaces of materials we commonly touch or in the food and liquids we regularly consume will discuss his work on CJAM today.

Steven Rehse joined the university’s Physics department last year and is helping to lead its new stream in medical physics.  His area of expertise is in laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, which simply put, involves firing a laser at a material’s surface and analyzing the content of light that’s emitted by the tiny explosion it causes.

Dr. Rehse hopes a better understanding of that technique will help lead to the manufacture of devices that can be used in such facilities as municipal water treatment plants and food processing factories. Having those devices available to detect the presence of harmful bacteria might help avoid such tragedies as the Walkerton water contamination of 2000 and the listeria outbreak of 2008, he suggests.

Rehse will appear today on Research Matters, a weekly talk show that focuses on the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on 99.1 FM.

Rehse will also deliver a public lecture on the subject hosted by the Windsor Humanist Society on January 16 at 7 p.m. at the United Way Centre at the corner of Giles and MacDougall avenues.



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