Saturday, October 25, 2008

oscilloscope!

So, I was at active surplus (with trusted, albeit slightly slow, sidekick Darryl) looking for parts for the fusor or the 3D display when I ran into this amazing old school oscilloscope. After quickly brainstorming some reason I could justify buying this beautiful piece of science equipment (or history depending on your view) I got it! The justification is actually quite good: instead of buying a Geiger counter, we can use activated aluminum and a charged plate (neutron hits the aluminum, shoots of an electron which gets captured by the plate which turns into a signal that the oscilloscope can see) to verify fusion is happening.

Anyways, here's a little video of the piece in action: hooked up to my speakers playing Roads by Portishead. Sorry about the video quality... also the cameras refresh rate doesn't do justice to the display.

video

As for the fusor route, we are going to get florescent transformers (~20,000V at a couple miliamps) for power, and hopefully e-bay will have the correct vacuum pump (it's hard to find ones that go down to 5microns). As for the vacuum container... we might just have to get one custom made. This is one piece that I don't really want to try building myself since it's the only part of the project that could seriously maim us.

Oh, and stay tuned... tomorrow I'm going to post a video I did a while ago about getting a cool explosion using ferrocium which you can get out of a common lighter!

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