Man tries to split atom in his kitchen

By WILLIAM JAFFRAY Time of article published Aug 5, 2011

Share this article:

A man has been arrested after attempting to split the atom... in his kitchen.

Amateur scientist Richard Handl acquired radioactive chemicals and tried to cook them in a bid to create a nuclear reaction in his own home. But the 31-year-old only managed to blow up his stove.

Describing the small meltdown on his blog, the Swede insisted there was nothing sinister about his efforts, but said he had later become unsure whether they were legal and called the country’s Radiation Safety Authority to check. He was subsequently arrested.

Handl said he had “always been interested in physics and chemistry”, adding that he just wanted to “see if it is possible to split atoms at home”.

He said he had acquired the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium for the experiment in his apartment in Angelholm, southern Sweden.

Asked whether he could have succeeded in creating nuclear fission, Leif Moberg, head of research at the RSA said: “Not with what we found, but we are not finished with all the measurements yet.”

Handl was arrested on charges of unauthorised possession of nuclear material.

He added: “From now on, I will stick to the theory.” - Daily Mail

Share this article: