Dr Marcus Doherty and co-researcher Michael Barson. Photo by Stuart Hay.

 Dr Marcus Doherty and co-researcher Michael Barson. Photo by Stuart Hay.

Device inspired by Dr Who

Physicists have designed a handheld device inspired by the sonic screwdriver in Doctor Who and the tricorder in Star Trek that will use the power of MRI and mass spectrometry to perform a chemical analysis of objects.

The sonic screwdriver is a tool used in Doctor Who to scan and identify matter, among other functions, while the multi-purpose tricorder in Star Trek can provide a detailed analysis of living things.