Monday, July 16, 2012

Molecular gastronomy (playing with food): "reverse" spherification maraschino cherries

I made a puree of maraschino cherries and added 2.5g of calcium lactate gluconate. I then dripped this mixture into a solution of 2.5g of sodium alginate in 500g of water. A gelatinous skin is formed at the interface between the two liquids, forming spheres of cherry puree. This process is known as reverse spherification. I bought the chemicals here:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Follow-up: Attempting to make X-rays by unrolling Scotch tape -- Success?

In this follow-up video, I show that I was able to get a P47 phosphor disc to illuminate when unrolling tape in the vacuum chamber. The blue x-ray intensifier screen did not illuminate although it was also in the chamber. Also, it seems the P47 was illuminated through a thin copper foil, though I will have to do some more tests to believe this.

Attempting to make X-rays by unrolling Scotch tape (negative result)

A few years ago, a research group posted a video showing that X-rays could be created by unrolling scotch tape in a vacuum. The idea is that the static charge generated by the mechanical unrolling process would cause electrons to accelerate to 50KV (or so), and then produce x-rays when they slam into something. I tried to recreate this experiment, but I had pretty weak results. I may need a much larger vacuum pump to keep the pressure in the chamber very low while unrolling.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Creating X-rays with a standard vacuum tube

I forced an RCA 811A tube to produce some X-rays by operating the tube in cold-cathode mode at about 20KV and 150uA.  The glass fluoresces nicely, but I didn't get any light from my X-ray intensifier cassette.

MightyOhm's geiger counter kit: