Friday, 5 August 2011

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em

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Unsurprisingly, the news that an amateur scientist has been trying to split atoms in his kitchen in southern Sweden has generated lots of interest. In this photo, you can see what happened when Richard Handl tried to cook Americium, Radium and Beryllium in 96% sulphuric-acid on his stove.

Looks messy, but what really caught my eye was the overflowing ashtray at the back of the stove. I suppose it makes sense – you need to steady the nerves when attempting nuclear fission, which surely makes 20 Marlboro an essential part of any controlled atomic environment.

(The photo's from Richard's blog, where you can read all about his exploits pioneering work.)
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