About Me

My Photo

I previously worked on Virtual Reality and other hardware at Valve.  I currently work at Google[x].

Prior to starting at Valve, I built computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and joysticks that were designed to be used inside MRI machines.  My company, Mag Design and Engineering, sold these devices directly to researchers at academic institutions who used them to publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

After work, I spend time on many different types of projects that usually involve circuit design, machining, material selection, and general fabrication/hacking.  My favorite place to be is my home workshop.

ben dot krasnow at gmail




Monday, May 7, 2012

Whipped chocolate made with high pressure nitrous oxide

I made some whipped chocolate by melting standard semi-sweet morsels, and applying nitrous oxide at 250 psi. I then dispensed the melted, gassified chocolate into a chilled vacuum chamber, then applied a vacuum to create large bubbles within the chocolate. I maintained the vacuum level while the chocolate solidified with the bubbles still intact. This process yields a dessert that is very low-density, and has a very pleasant airy texture.

Simple cloud chamber

A cloud chamber shows alpha particles being emitted from americium sources. The chamber works by creating a layer of supersaturated alcohol vapor which visualize the radation. The alpha particles trigger condensation in trails through the vapor cloud and show up as tiny droplet tracks. In this chamber, I have two alcohol-soaked pads above an aluminum plate that is cooled by dry ice. The pads emit alcohol vapor, which is cooled by the air above the aluminum plate to the point where it is colder than would normally by necessary to condense. The tiny radioactive particle pushes it over the edge to cause condensation, which is visible droplets.