cylonlover writes: While we’ve seen developments that could see T-ray spectrometers featuring in a future handheld tricorder-like device, good ol’ X-rays could also get a guernsey thanks to an engineering team from the University of Missouri. The team has invented an accelerator about the size of a stick of gum that can create X-rays and other forms of radiation, opening up the possibility of cheap and portable X-ray scanners. As well as being small, the device requires just a fraction of the electricity used by current X-ray machines. Using a crystal made from lithium niobate, it uses the piezoelectric effect to amplify an electrical input of 10 volts to produce more than 100,000 volts of electricity. This could allow the crystal to be powered by batteries in a handheld device.