science fair project betatron

Michio Kaku’s High-School Science Fair Project was Astounding

By Anupum Pant

 michiokakuDr. Michio Kaku without a doubt is one of the finest Physicist of the present times. Besides that he is also a very popular person. If you watch TV, you must have definitely seen this man some where. He has made several appearances on TV channels like  BBC, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the Science Channel. Also, he has written books and hosts a radio show.
He has made science popular. But if you live in a cave, this person in the picture is the man I’m talking about.

What made him the man he is today, was his great love for science since childhood. By the time he was in high-school, he had started doing incredible things. His high-school science fair project story, pretty much sums up the remarkable things he had started doing back then.

The science fair project

During his high school, when he was working on anti-matter photography, he had an idea to create his own anti-matter beam. He then went to his mom and asked her this:

Mom, can I have permission to build a 2.3 million volt atom smasher betatronic accelerator in my garage?

The shocked and proud mom obviously agreed to the proposal. This is what he had to procure to convert his idea into a reality:

  • 400 pounds of transformer steel
  • 22 miles! of copper wire

With the help of his parents, he wound the 22 mile long copper wire around a football field that was able to generate a magnetic field 20,000 times greater than the Earth’s magnetic field. It could produce collisions powerful enough to create antimatter. After a few troubles with the power, there, he had his own  2.3 eV atom smasher (cyclic particle accelerator).

This was an atom smasher built in his backyard garage – a mini version of the $ 10 Billion Large Hadron Collider.

Changed his life

This science fair put him in the right track. A nuclear scientist, Edward Teller, noticed it in the National Science Fair and spread the word to the scientific community. And soon, he got a full ride to the Harvard University.

via FromQuarkstoQuasars

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11 thoughts on “Michio Kaku’s High-School Science Fair Project was Astounding”

  1. Wow! Back in 1969 I tried to get a cyclotron going myself (that’s what the picture looks like). I got the magnets, the vacuum chamber, and the two “D” shaped acceleration electrodes constructed, but my source of protons (a heated filament with what I suspect was to much hydrogen gas passing over it) was questionable, and my source of RFenergy for the electrodes was underpowered at best. I never detected an output. Glad to see that someone else tried and succeed. But trying was really fun. (I got second place because it didn’t work.)

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