I don't know about you guys, but I built a nuclear bomb for my science fair project. ( But I was also questioned by the FBI for 5 straight hours after that)
HDcandela,Wow, that is really an extreme statement. "No boy has built an atomic bomb." Am I to assume that the author knows every boy, just like Santa Clause? Is that also to imply that no boy will ever build an atomic bomb?
Threatened??? NOT AT ALL!!! [ Why do people always contend that one must beDr.GG the Physicist also plays the psychological games of "expert" and "rank & file." Doc, are you feeling threatened?
Yes - a "dirty bomb" or RDD - radiological dispersal device is easy.A dirty bomb is easy.
HDcandela,For that matter, in the process of building and running a pile reactor in the back yard, what if the teen uses graphite or some other ""dangerous when burning"" material to make rods?
There are a very limited number of materials that can be used - you can count themNot knowing what materials the teen may find or make to fuel the reactor (among other things) I can not tell you what tempurature or levels of radioactivity could be reached. HOWEVER, you do not know either.
"China Syndrome", even in a power reactor is a nonsense term used for scaring children.Perhaps someday we will see (not quite all the way down to China).
HDcandela,Stoorsrarg, If they questioned you for 5 hours without arresting and/or charging you... it would have been quite "reasonable" to state: that your time is of worth; that you are going into the consulting business effective imediately (business license not required); that you shall be charging & invoicing them by the day; that what you just informed them of this on tape & it has been witnessed by those sworn to uphold the law; and that any other related questions they ask of you would be understood as the retention of your consulting services for hire at the verbally specified rate you have just anounced. Then, ask them for: their supervisor's name; their identification particulars; their office address & phone number; and what specific part of the code that they are enforcing (in writing) so that you can understand they are "reasonable?" All of that is your Right.
Strictly speaking, building a reactor or an X-ray machine or whatever is not really "doing science", but rather "doing engineering". A very important part in engineering is safety considerations, and doing dangerous things because of lack of knowledge and experience, even if they are exciting at first sight, is bad engineering. So it would be a good lesson in engineering NOT to do so.if a kid came up to me excited about science and said "I am going to make an X-ray machine" I would do my best to help the bright young mind along, pointing him to the right supervision and providing him all the support he needs. Otherwise he will end up doing it anyway without the proper supervision (it would probably work too), or become disinterested in the sciences because we are a bunch of crabby aristocrats, and there goes a potential Livermore, abusing himself on videogames and TV instead.
Lemee see, I think we helpful PF science advisors have some enriched uranium lying around here somewhere...Ok so I know that this seems like an absolutely absurd and almost impossible idea but I want to build a nuclear reactor to enter in the state science fair next year.
I know that it takes time, wit and money but I'm completely prepared to take on the challenge.
Chris,And many years ago yet another New Yorker profile told the story of a high school student who managed to draw up blueprints for a crude but feasible atom bomb--- he got in quite a bit of trouble too, ...
All right, let's test your integrity in this domain thenHowever, scientists who are asked this question HAVE TO respond no comment - even if the
supposed bomb is a bunch of utter nonsense.