Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Atom Splitting In Your Kitchen

  1. Aug 3, 2011 #1


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I hate to discourage anyone from doing science ("Stand Back!" indeed), but this goes a bit too far. While I admire his enthusiasm, if I lived next to this guy I'd be concerned.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2011 #2
    Wow! :surprised

    I wonder where he found all those radioactive substances...
  4. Aug 3, 2011 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The americium probably came from smoke detectors.
  5. Aug 3, 2011 #4
  6. Aug 4, 2011 #5
    Extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary. This is extremely amusing and deeply horrifying in equal measure. I would have thought that the technical challenges went way beyond the simple matter of obtaining the radioactive material. It is easy to say ‘oh just fire some neutrons at some atoms of uranium-235’, the practicalities of actually doing that are somewhat more involved. If these two individuals were able to do it in their kitchen and their potting shed, it does put into perspective the idea of Iran and North Korea doing it.
  7. Aug 4, 2011 #6
    Lol what the hell maybe he should've asked Kaku to helphim.
  8. Aug 4, 2011 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Is this the same guy who rang up the Swedish radioactive association (or whatever they're called) for advise on this?
  9. Aug 4, 2011 #8
    Same guy, yeah. Their response was to send the cops after him.

    Wasn't there a boy scout who tried to do something similar (I think it was actually make a breeder reactor) in the US a few years back? I also seem to recall a very similar item (either splitting atoms or making reactors) on my uni's scavenger hunt list once.
  10. Aug 4, 2011 #9
    It was a http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091472/" [Broken]... :p
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  11. Aug 4, 2011 #10
  12. Aug 4, 2011 #11
    Yes, it's the story khemist linked to in post #4.
  13. Aug 4, 2011 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I thought this was going to be a thread on microwave ovens. :rofl:
  14. Aug 4, 2011 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Smoke detectors and eBay (using the buy it now feature, apparently).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook