Category Archives: Nuclear

Bending Beta Particles with Magnets

By George Dowell There are many different types of atomic and nuclear radiation. “Atomic” refers to the atom as a whole, but the commonly accepted definition of atomic reactions are those that originate in the electron shell area of the atom. “Nuclear” on the other hand is specific to the nucleus of an atom. Some radiation consists of particles of matter, betas and … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, Magnetism, Nuclear, Physics | Leave a comment

Open Access publishing initiative, SCOAP3, to start on 1 January 2014

With the support of partners in 24 countries[2], a vast fraction of scientific articles in the field of High-Energy Physics will become Open Access at no cost for any author: everyone will be able to read them; authors will retain copyright; and generous licenses will enable wide re-use of this information. Continue reading…

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Nuclear Fission and Radioactive Fallout: Fukushima samples retested 2 years later

Gamma spectrum analysis with simple equipment can differentiate fallout from weapons vs. reactors; it can tell if the fission was via uranium or by plutonium, tell the relative age of the sample or determine certain environmental conditions at the time of release. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Environment, General Interest, Instrumentation, Measurement, Nuclear, Observation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy (belated) Birthday, Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford

Not just Bohr but many others benefited from Rutherford’s tutelage; in a record that is unlikely to be ever topped, no fewer than 12 of his students and associates won Nobel Prizes. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, Education, Experimentation, History of Science, Nuclear, Physics | 1 Comment

Radioactive Cesium Levels at Fukushima Surge 9000% in Three Days. No One Knows Why

Second explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Photo: powertechexposed.com

Some of the highest levels of ionizing radiation yet detected since the disaster first occurred were recently recorded at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan, according to shocking new reports. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Environment, General Interest, Measurement, Nuclear, Oceanography | 3 Comments

Citizen Science Musings: Sixty Symbols

Trust me, these are excellent. You might think of them as Kahn Academy videos with better production values and explanations. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, Education, Nuclear, Physics, Science Education, Space, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wyoming teen who built fusion reactor disqualified from science fair on technicality

Conrad Farnsworth demonstrates the fusion reactor he hand-built in his father's garage in Newcastle.

A Wyoming high school student who built a nuclear reactor in his dad’s garage was disqualified from the International Science and Engineering Fair this month on a technicality. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Breaking News, DIY, Education, Energy, Engineering, Nuclear, Physics, Science Education, Science Fair | 6 Comments

MMXIII: Exciting Things to Come

In the new year, the one following 2012*, we will be doing new and exciting experiments in the Home Lab. These center around… Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, CSL News, Electronics, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Invention, Measurement, Nuclear, Physics, Projects | Leave a comment

Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectroscopy- X-Ray Fluorescence in the Home Lab or: Fun with Quantum Physics

FIG. 1: XRF via beta particles, also known as PIXE (Particle Induced Radiation Emission).

The first CSL article in this series has introduced you to X-Ray Fluorescence, the method of exciting an element’s atoms and measuring the Characteristic X-Rays given off when the atom de-excites back to a stable state. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Energy, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Invention, Measurement, Nuclear, Physics, Projects, Sensors, Uncategorized | 5 Comments