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Posts Tagged ‘fission’

Best Leave Some Things to the Professionals…

August 3, 2011 3 comments

A man in Sweden with a penchant for science and chemistry was arrested for attempting to split atoms in his basement.

Einstein would be so proud.

Apparently Richard Handl even kept a blog about his efforts to build a nuclear reactor in his home. Unfortunately, it is illegal for civilians to own this kind of radioactive material, which included uranium, americium and radium.

With good reason. This stuff can be quite a health hazard, which makes me wonder how he got the stuff in the first place…

In any case, Mr. Handl eventually thought it might be a good idea to ask the Sweden’s Radiation Authority if it was alright if he went ahead and kept some fissionable around his place and, y’know, fission it. (Yes, I used “fission” as a verb. Deal with it.)

Although it is a bit amusing, Mr. Handl faces up to 2 years in jail for his experiment.

Said Handl,

From now on, I will stick to the theory

Nuclear Fission Explained…With Skittles and Mouse Traps

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Thanks to Pharyngula for posting this. Awesome!

Woo Hoo! Isotopes Rule!

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Gotta love the Isotopes!

After a 15 month hiatus, the Chalk River nuclear reactor in Ontario, Canada, is starting to once again produce isotopes used for medical  imaging.

The Chalk River reactor produced one third of medical isotopes used for imaging procedures all over the world. Namely, it produced Molybdenum-99, which is created as a fission product in the nuclear reaction.

The Molybdenum-99 isotope is unstable, and will decay into Technetium-99m. The Technetium can then be injected into a patient to perform medical scans.

Molybdenum-99 is kept in specialized containers while it decays into Technetium-99m

Now, I did my Masters thesis on Magnetic Resonance Imaging, so these medical procedures bring back some good memories for me. As such, I am going to start a series of posts describing the “Physics Of…” various medical techniques.

These will include things like X-Rays, PET scans, CAT scans, etc. So look forward to that, its a subject I hold very dear to my heart.