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From: "Owen Lawrence"
Subject: Re: Home brew linear accelerator?
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 22:28:59 -0400
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>Every once in a while I get to thinking about the practicality of a
>hobbyist/amateur scientist performing entry-level nuclear reaction
>experiments with home-made equipment. Like hitting some target with
>beta or alpha radiation by use of a small cyclotron or linear accelerator.
The was an Amateur Scientist column called "A Homemade Atom Smasher". "For
less than the average cost of a set of golf clubs, you can quip yourself for
playing with electrons..." It's not a long article, but it impressed me as
being one of the more challenging of all the projects. Inspiring reading,
however. There was quite a bit of safety-related prose in it as well.
Using a Van deGraaf generator this way can supply plenty of harmful X-rays,
and irradiating biological material can produce who-knows-what kind of
compounds. It says you can also harden polymers by knocking electrons off
the long chains, introducing cross-binding.
If you really want to make a particle accelerator, I'm betting this is
one of the easiest set of instructions you'll find. I've also seen websites
of cyclotrons built by high school students.
- Owen -
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