"Atoms at the Science Fair"

A place to keep track of reference material - any particularly useful books, articles, etc. should be listed here.
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Brian McDermott
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"Atoms at the Science Fair"

Post by Brian McDermott » Fri Aug 22, 2003 5:36 pm

This is an Atoms for Peace-era AEC booklet (picked up on ebay) that was meant to give students tips and ideas for a "nuclear powered" science fair project. Linear accelerators, cyclotrons, controlled fusion reactions etc. The list goes on for several pages. It also gives a list of radioisotope suppliers, which probably don't exist anymore, or supply to the general public (let alone kids).

Interesting to note is the Reference section of the booklet. Here are a few of the titles and authors they have listed. I searched for and found many of these using Bookfinder. Some are already listed elsewhere on the forum, so I won't bother to post those.

ATOMIC EXPERIMENTS FOR BOYS; Raymond F. Yates

EXPERIMENTS WITH ATOMICS; Nelson Beeler, Franklin Branley

SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS YOU CAN MAKE; Helen M. Davis

ATOMIC ENERGY; Irene Jaworski, Alexander Joseph

It also goes on to list several technical reports available from the U.S. government printing office. I can put those up too if you like.

Richard Hester
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Re: "Atoms at the Science Fair"

Post by Richard Hester » Fri Aug 22, 2003 7:35 pm

Beeler and Branley put out a whole bunch of books describing simple experiments that could be done by a competent amateur. The one I remember from my elementary school days dealt with simple radio projects. One of the things I remember most was their description of the coherer, a Marconi-era radio detector that used metal filings in a glass tube. A radio frequency signal would cause the filings to cling together a bit, altering the resistance. A little solenoid-driven tapper would disarrange the filings to make the device ready for the next signal. With such an arrangement, it was only good for receiving low rate CW signals. I think Marconi used a coherer for his first transatlantic experiments. Vacuum tubes (and crystal diodes) quickly killed the coherer.

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Richard Hull
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Re: "Atoms at the Science Fair"

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Aug 26, 2003 6:45 pm

I'll have a simple coherer demo setup at my HEAS get together this year. They are a snap to make and are stunningly amazing.

Some of Rutherford's first scientific papers (1890's) were on RF work and magnetic properties of metals in RF fields. By 1899 at McGill he took to radioactivity and never looked back at RF stuff.
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Richard Hester
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Re: "Atoms at the Science Fair"

Post by Richard Hester » Tue Aug 26, 2003 8:12 pm

With all the sparks and arcs going on, you may have a bit too much signal level to work with...

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Richard Hull
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Re: "Atoms at the Science Fair"

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Aug 27, 2003 8:59 pm

There is no such thing as too much signal level! With the sparks though, signal and noise are the same entity. Yes, I am sure that smoke will be curling up all over the place. Besides the given radon and ozone loads, folks will breathe in a lot of the ambiance of geeks outta' control. And that can be a good thing....I think.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

ningauble
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Re: "Atoms at the Science Fair"

Post by ningauble » Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:22 am

Sounds like serious fun!, I'm a big fan of this guys work:
http://home.earthlink.net/~lenyr/. He starts with a coherer and
works his way up to homemade tunnel diodes and negative
resistance devices complete with schematics

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