‘Atomic Fingerprinting’ Tech Could End Counterfeit Goods

In the sophisticated world of counterfeiting, it can often be difficult to tell fakes from the real deal. But now, scientists have developed a new method that can stamp things with “atomic fingerprints” to keep phony products at bay.

“There is no bigger crime than counterfeit crime,” said Robert Young, a professor of physics at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom and chief technology officer of the tech startup Quantum Base. [Faux Real: A Gallery of Forgeries]

Earlier this month, Young and his colleagues announced a relatively simple technique for confirming the authenticity of an object — an advance that could put a dent in the counterfeit industry, where fakes, forgeries and imitations cost the global economy half a trillion dollars in lost revenue each year, according to the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, headquartered in Paris.


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