The Ultimate Backscatter X-ray Scanner Quiz
by Staff
Backscatter X-ray scanners are being deployed at airports to help security personnel thwart terrorist attacks. How much do you know about the technology behind these sophisticated machines?

Backscatter scanners cost around how much?

  • $28,000
  • $150,000
  • $220,000
  • $400,000

When you submit to a backscatter scan, what are you being exposed to?

  • magnetic resonance scan
  • electromagnetic radiation
  • extreme magnetism

To receive the same amount of radiation equal to one chest X-ray, you'd have to go through a backscatter scanner about how many times?

  • 500
  • 1000
  • 5000
  • 9000

When are you subjected to significantly more ionizing radiation than you'd receive during a single backscatter scan?

  • in the bathtub
  • during a cave exploration tour
  • during your flight

Partly due to concerns about radiation exposure, the TSA is testing another type of scanner. What kind of technology does it use?

  • dual-exposure X-ray
  • millimeter wave
  • centimeter wave

Backscatter scanners create images that make people look nude. What is the TSA doing to allay privacy concerns?

  • removing the scanners from all airports.
  • telling sensitive travelers to wear lead undergarments that block the X-rays.
  • tweaking the scanner software to display generic body images.

Backscatter scanners emit X-rays, a type of electromagnetic radiation, which is made up of what?

  • atoms
  • ions
  • photons

Some scientists say the most likely health risk from backscatter X-rays is what?

  • skin cancer
  • DNA mutations
  • respiratory distress

If you don't want to submit to a backscatter scan, what can you opt for instead?

  • tell security personnel that you'd prefer to bypass screening altogether
  • request a pat-down screening
  • check in your handgun at the airline desk
  • run through the security checkpoint at a dead sprint

Backscatter technology is extremely effective, in part because it detects certain objects that metal detectors do not. Such as?

  • liquid explosives
  • weapons hidden in body cavities
  • non-metallic weapons
  • all of the above

Backscatter scanners aren't just used in airports. You'll also find the scanners in what other location?

  • surveillance vans
  • rock concerts
  • several major fast food restaurants

The lower powered rays from backscatter scanners barely penetrate the skin. What does this mean in terms of security?

  • Most passengers will also have to endure a full body pat-down to ensure the safety of other fliers.
  • A determined terrorist could hide explosives in a body cavity to avoid detection.
  • The scanners aren't very effective.

The TSA spent about how much money to develop updated software that displays less revealing images of passengers?

  • $1.2 million
  • $2.7 million
  • $3.2 million

After they're reviewed, what happens to the images from a backscatter scanner?

  • They're deleted immediately.
  • They're transferred to an encrypted database.
  • They're displayed on a big-screen TV.

Who filed a lawsuit against the TSA, claiming that the agency was secretly storing body scanner images?

  • FBI
  • EPIC
  • PETA

Which government agency determines a safe level of radiation exposure from equipment such as body scanners?

  • Food and Drug Administration
  • National Safety Council
  • Central Intelligence Agency

To avoid a pat-down and breeze through the backscatter screening, what should you do?

  • remove all metallic objects
  • place all removable belongings on the X-ray conveyor belt
  • strip down to your bare skin (they are going to see you naked, anyway)

If you are selected for backscatter screening, what will you be asked to do?

  • walk back and forth through the scanner until given an all-clear signal
  • stand still, holding a rigid pose, for a few seconds
  • return to the end of the line for further processing

In case of malfunction, X-ray scanners could subject passengers to a radiation overdose. What would this cause?

  • moderate radiation burns
  • minor skin blistering
  • unknown reactions

Backscatter X-ray images are more detailed than traditional X-rays. Why?

  • Backscatter machines are equipped with better sensors.
  • Backscatter scanners penetrate more deeply into human bodies.
  • Backscatter X-rays are weaker but produce a more nuanced view of the target.