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Ask Slashdot: Advice On a DIY Neutron Beam? 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the preferably-something-tsunami-proof dept.
Max Littlemore writes "I have been breeding at home using lots of old smoke detectors with a view toward generating my own and getting off the grid. The only thing stopping me is a reliable neutron beam. Given that all the equipment I'm using is re-purposed kitchen equipment, concerns about safety mean I'm to build a uranium reactor to supply neutrons to the thorium one. So I'm putting the question out there: do any Slashdotters know of a way to make a powerful neutron beam out of things I might find around the house?" It would be helpful to include images and diagrams of your own personal neutron beam .
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On a DIY Neutron Beam?

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  • Sad day (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday April 01, 2011 @03:47PM (#35690606)
    It's days like this when I really miss "OMG!!! Ponies!!!"...
  • by formfeed (703859) on Friday April 01, 2011 @03:58PM (#35690670)

    You could just ask your neighbor. Most high school kids who are even remotely interested in science already have a neutron source [discovermagazine.com] in their basement. Borax, you get in the laundry aisle and as moderator I suggest to go with pencils. Graphite is a well documented moderator and has worked in Chernobyl for many years without a problem. You could use tea-lights for shielding, but imho shielding is for sissies.

    Just one warning: As in banking, the important thing is to start big. If you build a small reactor, the police will come knocking down your door, but if you build a really big one, your local congressman will help you to find a way around stupid regulations.

  • by SMoynihan (1647997) on Friday April 01, 2011 @04:08PM (#35690712)

    All you need is a whole load of Sellotape (Scotch-tape for you Americans) (and some deuterium).

    Everyone (well, Slashdot readers) knows that peeling Sellotape produces x-rays [slashdot.org], so get some industrial sized sheets of Sellotape, probably at least a few layers. While peeling, aim your Sellotape at some material why only needs low energies to induce a photonuclear reaction (deuterium, beryllium perhaps).

    Some might say that those might need gamma rays, but those are only high energy X-rays, so shake your Sellotape fast, and you'll increase the frequency nicely.

    And voila: Neutrons!

    The rest is just details

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