A man stands inside a backscatter scanner at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Backscatter technology uses low-level X-rays to detect hidden metallic and nonmetallic objects, such as weapons and explosives, without physical contact. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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It has eight sides, which makes it a scientific "abomination," according to chemist Thomas Koop. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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