Skip to comments.The Radioactive Boy Scout
Posted on 12/29/2005 1:45:14 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
click here to read article
n oldie, but a goodie....
Somebody needs to give that guy a good job and a good education. Not many kids with the know-how, interest and smarts to do that. He could be the next Einstein, Teller or Oppenhiemer.
Navy has a lot of nukes.
Interesting article. A couple of miles from home. Thanks for posting.
I always wondered what happened to him.
Scarey. Why couldn't some homegrown America-hating Jihadist baddies make a dirty bomb with some of the same materials?
Wow! Who'da thunk it?
More like an Edison or a Graham. But he definitely needs a workshop...
Damn.. what a story. And we thought Three Mile Island was a bit of a bother.
Now, Imagine what a scientist in an oil-rich Mid-Eastern county can do despite 12 years of UN sanctions...
Depending on his exposure level, he may have increased his life expectancy. Statistics have shown that the effects of radiation exposure graph out in the shape of a "J", with a small amount being beneficial, and with increases becoming more beneficial before beoming less beneficial and then beoming harmful.
Holy crap! Ping to a coupl'a fellas who might be interested.
I hope the terrorists do not read this article.
Nothing that is not known in any basic nuclear engineering text book. See my link on the viability of producing an effective device using this method.
I read that book last year, quite an interesting story.
You can do a lot with a few hundred chips of americanium from smoke detectors and a few thousand lantern mantles.
Another one of those "Don't try this at home" threads.
The new ones no longer contain Thorium. I used to use lantern mantles to test my scintillator until I bought a Cesium 137 source. :-)
Unfortunately the book was written by some liberal luddite bastard. The moral of the story seems to have been "science is bad".
I bought a Cs137, Co60, and a Sr90 test kit this way.
It was still a good story.
What is scary is all the girls that worked in clock factories that would paint their nails with the radium paint, or put it on their teeth as a joke.
They didn't laugh too long.
I have some deuterium and tritium in my swimming pool.
At least a few molecules.
The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments is going for hundreds of dollars now.
"I wonder if this will get me a merit badge..."
Deuterium you can purchase thru the mails as well. :-)
Tritium is found in many items such as illuminated watch hands.
In fact, you can purchase sealed borosilicate vials that contains Tritium inside a phosphor coating that will glow for 30 years. People use them for scuba diving and on key rings.
Yeah, but I'll bet they would look at you a bit askance if you asked'em to ship a thousand or so to the same address.
But, 'tis true--anyone can buy any isotope in "General License Quantities".
I've seen the scuba stuff with tritium.
I go the low tech route for when I do night dives. I go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of those glow in the dark cylume plastic halloween things.
Just before entering the water, I give everyone a different color, break the vial inside and activate them, and that way, I know who is who underwater and if a flashlight breaks down, we know where that person is.
You and me both. :-)
I don't do many night dives anymore. Not much to see. However, have you ever lit up coral with a UV light? Pretty cool.
That could be fun.
I might be going for my masters and instructor soon, got a free place to stay in the Carribean.
I just like how every once in a while you completely suprise a fish at night and they freak out. What I don't like are groupers and butterfly fish that always follow you about 2 feet behind your shoulder when you dive at night.
Best night dive to do is the Kona manta ray dives, they bring down a huge amount of lights to a spot off shore where a hotel light has been shining for years. Then you sit on the bottom and get about 5 or 6 mantas, each about 6 ft wide and 3 feet long.
You mean I was right? I wasn't sure if I actually read that somewhere, or if it was the cold medicine talking.
I used to turn off the dive lights and enjoy the natural phosphorescnence. A reef looks like a miniature city.
The saddest part of the story was his ignorance of the basics that could have had him doing a better job.
For example, the old Coleman mantles are treated with thorium nitrate, which could have been rinsed out and concentrated with water. Once fired, the ThO2 is formed. This is also true of the modern yttrium mantles. He did not have to ash them, thereby causing so much dilution. Nuclear reactions do not care about the compound, unless it contains neutron absorbing elements like cadmium.
If he wanted an alpha source, raiding Staticmaster brushes would have been much more rewarding. A milligram of polonium emits as many alpha particles per second as 5 grams of radium. The energy released by its decay is so large that a capsule containing about 0.5 grams reaches a temperature above 500K. Since a->Be>-oN1 only has a yield of 1 in 10^4 or so, the higher alpha flux from Polonium would have greatly helped him.
In short, it was a bungled and pathetic effort, that could have been vastly improved with a half an hour on the Web.
"C" for effort, "F" for Style.
What it goes to show is that American boy scouts are smarter than all the scientists in the middle east.
You're almost in my back yard.........
Any idiot could make a dirty bomb if they could get the radioactive material.
Gotta get together.
The water would release the Th from the Th(NO3)4? (Assuming Th valence of 4)
Then there is the EMP gun.....salvage a CRT tube from an old TV, knock off all the glass and replace it with a shielded tube, and set up a capacitor with a solid state relay to power......
"That's all I got to say about that.", Forrest Gump.
Once upon a time a dude I know of made himself sick with a similar device he built. He didn't understand why he got sick, but once the hospital figured it out he got a visit from.....weeelllll...he ain't supposed to do that no more.
It is a quick and silent method to kill rats at the local dump, however.
I guess the Department of Homeland Security is coming to lobotomize me now, or the Defense Department will be hiring me as a consultant.
Leave my night sights alone.
And all we did when we were kids was patiently use a pin to pick the gunpowder out of toy caps until we had enough to make a giant firecracker.