Let's Make Robots!

WANT (Not a robot, but...)

I used to complain that kids today have way cooler toys than we did when I was a kid, but this morning I found evidence that maybe the best toys were available before I came on the scene:

Supposedly this came with an "Alpha" source that let you watch particles in your cloud chamber, which is probably a little less dangerous than the glow-in-the-dark paint on my watch hands.  Can you imagine having this as a kid though?  Your love of science would be rock solid and life long!

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That is one toy I really want know!

you can find a DIY cloud chamber from MarkusB here: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/22162

Thanks Lumi!  When I was a kid there were plans for a lineartron atom-smasher in a book in the library.  Basically you built two VanDeGraff generators but in one you didn't put a belt, rather you sucked all the air out of it and put a lightbulb at one end and let the charge of the sphere suck the particles down the tube in a vacuum chamber.  I don't know if there's much of a point in doing it now-not likely to find a Higgs particle with it, but it would have been neat to do at the time.

Yep indeed ;-) This sounds complicated and would be a good steampunk project ;-)

AH, Those were the days..!  A lad could build his own nuclear weapons at home....


(I remember those kits from when I was wee.)


That larger canister was a real working cloud chamber, where you could see vapour trails left by radioactive particles going through.  (Ionized particles leave behind a visible trail in the cold alcohol vapour.). It worked best with dry ice (CO2), but it worked a little just sitting on regular ice, salted.

I don't see it in that kit, but the one I had, also contained something called a "spintheriscope" which looked like a high power magnifier you put to your eye*, but you were looking at a phosphorus screen that lit with tiny dots when sub-atomic particles went through.

Of course, U-238 is "common" uranium. U-235 is what you need for a bomb, but who cares?


*Spintheriscope looked like this: http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/porter-spinthariscope-chemistry-169897414

searched that on google and i found some intel:

it is called "U-238 atomic energy lab", created by Alfred Gilbert(the inventor of erector set) and it actually have a real uranium on that kit, w/c places that on the top ten most dangerous toys( source )

and besides that kit, Alfred Gilbert also created some chemistry sets and some sciency stuff.

here's what's inside that kit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_U-238_Atomic_Energy_Laboratory

hmmm... i would love to have a time machine, so that i can travel back in time and buy that kit!

I looked at that source list and I remember having several of those toys. The atomic energy kit was fun and informative. Physics and the other sciences really excited me.

I also really liked my Bat Masterson belt-buckle derringer cap-pistol. I had a lot of different cap-pistols growing up. Now these "wimpy girly-boys"  think they are dangerous.  ha ha

I enjoyed playing with yard darts with the girl next door, but it was in the 50's not the 80's like that page said. I guess they were around but did not get recalled till the wimps started appearing in the 80's and decided they knew what people were allowed to do better than us normal people...  Sure yard darts could have been dangerous if you threw them at someone, but you just didn't DO that.

Besides the Atomic Energy experiment set, I also had a couple chemistry sets with many many chemicals and books of experiments. Funny that one chemistry set didn't make the list, as it contained chemical samples including cyanide compounds and arsenic also. (For those who do not know, those are quite poisonous.) Being a kid I did not always do the boring experiments in the book, but threw things together, sometimes not having any idea what they would do.  It was usually nothing, but one day I did succeed in freeing a lot of cyanide gas...  I remember crawling to the front door and hanging my head outside, til I could breathe...   Yeah, that kit should probably have been on the list. <grins>

If that's true, then it places it in my top 10 wants list. Lets think about inventing a time machine for 2 together...
This looks awesome!!

And it's true that if I had this, it'd have been awesome (and I'm a whole generation younger but belong to a developing country).

Developing?  I think India is pretty well developed. After all, they are one of the few in the space race to the Moon. (Chandrayaan-1 is now in lunar orbit, and landed a package on the Moon's surface.)