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Possible Projects for Boredom

  1. Dec 16, 2005 #1
    Hey everyone. This is my first post so Hello.

    Anyways I'm 24 and should graduate with a BS in Physics pretty soon. For the past few months I've been wanting to start some sort of project that would be 1) Fun, 2) Relitively easy but still cool, 3) Not require alot of money 4) Relitively safe 5) Not require too much outside expertise or skills 6) The finnished product should be somewhat usefull or "tweakable" so i can play around with it and try new things out. 7) Not requireing too much tools and I need to be able to do this in my appartment. I know these restrictions kinda suck but they all have to do with me needing to put school and work first and not sinking too much time and money into it end up blowing my face off which seems to be the possibility of some really cool experiments.

    I've wanted to make home made rockets but this conflicts with conditions 4 and 7. A CO2 or any other kind of Laser conflicts with 4, 5, and 7. And making one of those home made fusion reactors conflicts with 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.

    I've been reading some of your posts and you guys seem pretty smart. It would be really cool if you could just throw out some ideas of projects I can work on durring my spare time and I can take it from there.

    Also, I work in the campus library and found that Scientific American has the article "The Amateur Scientist" where it gets you started on some pretty cool experiments. The problem is that we have 20-30 years worth of Scientific Americans and since im SUPPOSE to be working while at work and not looking thru old journals, if anyone can suggest really cool projects from Scientific American and which issue/date it was from that would be totaly awesome.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2005 #2
    One idea that I played around with over the summer, but never ended up doing, was to create a cloud chamber to watch for antiparticles. Basically you need to have the chamber filled with a gas that is on the verge of condensing, and you need to keep a fairly uniform B field across the chamber. Any particles which go flying through the chamber will then leave tracks of condensed droplets which you can see. Example: http://www.physicscentral.com/action/action-00-2-print.html

    I got the idea while watching an old epsisode of Nova I believe, they were talking about some early experiments on cosmic radiation where people would observe tracks of particle in cloud chambers in search of particle/anti-particle pairs. Unfortunately I can't remember the specifics of their chamber, I seem to recall that it involved dry ice to keep things cold but I can't remember what they were using for the gas.
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