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Topic: Nice Car Shine  (Read 21667 times)

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starbuck

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Nice Car Shine
« on: June 11, 2005, 06:18:40 PM »
Forty years ago Uranium was use at some car washes to give ones car a radiant polish.  Anyone know where I can order some of this? We use to extract uranium from the car wash for home experiments by using ground up carrots as a strainer to collect the element.

Offline P

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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2006, 11:18:58 AM »
Old bedside clocks often contained Urainium compounds in their fluorescent paints.  I read that some 14 year old boy in the states collected loads from boot fairs and scrapped off the paint.  He got the Urainium out somehow and done some experiments in his garden shed.  The authorities found out, dismantled his shed and took away all of his stuff due to the radiation..    ;D
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Offline jdurg

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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2006, 03:07:45 PM »
Old bedside clocks often contained Urainium compounds in their fluorescent paints.  I read that some 14 year old boy in the states collected loads from boot fairs and scrapped off the paint.  He got the Urainium out somehow and done some experiments in his garden shed.  The authorities found out, dismantled his shed and took away all of his stuff due to the radiation..    ;D

Uranium has never been used in fluorescent paints because it simply isn't a strong enough emitter of radiation.  You're getting uranium confused with radium.  Radium has indeed been used in paints to provide a glowing effect, but that practice was stopped a good long while ago.  In addition, I have never heard of any uranium containing compounds being used in a car wash.  I'd like to read some proof of that.   ;D
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2006, 09:07:41 AM »
Terribly sorry  --  you are correct.   The authorities did dismantle the boy's shed and take it and everything in it away though.
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Offline mike

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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2006, 08:33:40 PM »
This has a link to the story about the "radioactive boy" and his shed :)

http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?board=27;action=display;threadid=5135
« Last Edit: January 12, 2006, 08:34:07 PM by mike »
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2006, 03:06:41 PM »
I hear for a time they put Uranium in dentures.  I'm not sure during what period or where to get them, though.  Try eBay.  It has everything   ;D
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crow_of_darkness

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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2006, 03:29:39 PM »
    Back in 30's in Germany, they put Uranium in plates. In E-Bay maybe you find announcenments.(And no,you cant use them for put your food and eat) :D
    As for the story is 100% true. I DONT want to do advertisement but in Unitednuclears site-Menu-General interest-books&publications, you will find the book ''the radioactive boy scout'' for 25 dollars.(UNFORTUNATLY they sell ONLY in people that live in USA.) :(

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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2006, 03:52:01 PM »
   Back in 30's in Germany, they put Uranium in plates. In E-Bay maybe you find announcenments.(And no,you cant use them for put your food and eat) :D
    As for the story is 100% true. I DONT want to do advertisement but in Unitednuclears site-Menu-General interest-books&publications, you will find the book ''the radioactive boy scout'' for 25 dollars.(UNFORTUNATLY they sell ONLY in people that live in USA.) :(

Nobody has ever doubted the story about the 'Radioactive Boyscout'.  It's one of the more well known stories out there.  What has been questioned is the original poster's statement that they used to use Uranium in car washes.  That is very unlikely because there is nothing about Uranium or any of its compounds that would be useful in regards to washing/polishing a car.   ;D
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 04:22:45 PM »
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2006, 04:31:46 PM »
The plates and dishes, I think, are called 'Fiestaware', and you can indeed find them on eBay.  They are often bright orange, and the color is sometimes called 'radioactive', but I think in reference to the strong color, not to the fact that they are ACTUALLY radioactive.

I'm going to go on record as being skeptical of the Radioactive Boy Scout.  I remember some sci.chem discussions a while back where many people were skeptical of the story.  Supposedly, nobody could find ANY documentation of the affair other than the book (and Harper's magazine article, I think) written by the original author.  (Other sources got all their info from the first one.)

Some of the claims the scout made seemed implausible, I was particularly skeptical of the claim to have made large amounts of radioactivity (not just separating sources from e.g. smoke detectors, but actually breeding it), and some other posters, who said that they were familiar with thermite reactions (I'm not, I've never performed one) said that the scout's account of such sounded bogus.

My personal guess is that the scout did do lots of chemistry experiments involving radioactivity, but exaggerated a bunch when talking to the author of these reports.


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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2006, 08:52:09 AM »
The plates and dishes, I think, are called 'Fiestaware', and you can indeed find them on eBay.  They are often bright orange, and the color is sometimes called 'radioactive', but I think in reference to the strong color, not to the fact that they are ACTUALLY radioactive.

I'm going to go on record as being skeptical of the Radioactive Boy Scout.  I remember some sci.chem discussions a while back where many people were skeptical of the story.  Supposedly, nobody could find ANY documentation of the affair other than the book (and Harper's magazine article, I think) written by the original author.  (Other sources got all their info from the first one.)

Some of the claims the scout made seemed implausible, I was particularly skeptical of the claim to have made large amounts of radioactivity (not just separating sources from e.g. smoke detectors, but actually breeding it), and some other posters, who said that they were familiar with thermite reactions (I'm not, I've never performed one) said that the scout's account of such sounded bogus.

My personal guess is that the scout did do lots of chemistry experiments involving radioactivity, but exaggerated a bunch when talking to the author of these reports.



If you do a bit of drilling down you can find newspaper articles from the town from around the time period that the experiments were taking place.  I'll have to dig through my computer to see if I had saved any of the scanned articles.  With a lot of "big" stories like that it's easier to be skeptical than it is to believe it so it doesn't surprise me that there is/was a lot of skepticism.  The basics of what went down in the article are pretty believeable as long as you realize that this was done over a fairly long time period.

Fiestaware is indeed "hot" but don't let the Geiger Counter fool you.  Geiger Counters will pick up a lot of the decays but those decays are incredibly weak in nature.  The gamma ray emission by a decaying uranium atom is incredibly minimal, and the energetic alpha emissions are stopped before they can get very far at all.  The major threat from a Fiestaware dish is the chemical toxicity of the compounds in there.  Uranium is really not radiologically dangerous, but it is chemically nasty for humans.  In addition, the lead compounds contained in the glazes would leach into acidic foods and you'd then be ingesting a great deal of uranium and lead salts which are horribly toxic for you.  I think if the radioactivity of the dish is what made it glow so brightly then there'd be a lot of dead people out there.   ;) :D  (Actinium and curium are two of the only radioactive metals I know of that actually do glow because of their radioactivity.  Actinium supposedly glows an eerie blue color similar to Cs-137 because of the high energy emissions it gives off when it decays.  I'd LOVE to see a photograph of some pure Actinium metal decaying.  It's a shame that there really aren't any good photos out there and all my efforts to obtain photographs of the pure actinide elements have ben in vain.  :( )
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2006, 11:24:04 AM »
If you do a bit of drilling down you can find newspaper articles from the town from around the time period that the experiments were taking place.

That would indeed be some confirmation.  I remember the 'scuttlebutt' about not having any, but I never did any of the checking myself.

Quote
It's a shame that there really aren't any good photos out there and all my efforts to obtain photographs of the pure actinide elements have ben in vain.  :( )

Have you checked out my 'virtual element collection'?
http://gotexassoccer.com/elements/index.htm

I found some pictures of metallic Np, Pu, Am and Cm.  No Ac though, which was quite a disappointment since I wanted to see that blue glow just like you!

« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 10:34:30 PM by Mark Kness »

Offline constant thinker

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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 08:24:09 PM »
Whooaaaaaaa. So jdurg.... Some elements actually do glow when because of there radioactivity. Is it like a special kind of radiatin, like Cherenkov radiation, or something. I don't think Cherenkov Radiation counts because on wiki it says it's when a charged particle passes through an insulator.

What is the "glowing" radiation? Does it have a special name?

Sorry this is kind of random, but I thought the glowing was just a hollywood thing.
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2006, 10:34:07 PM »
Nope.  It's real.  What happens is that actinium has a relatively short half-life (21.7 years for the most stable isotope) and decays via emission of a beta particle (electron) or high energy (> 5MeV) alpha particle.  These high energy particles smack into the air surrounding the metal thus transferring some of its energy.  So just like metal ions which get excited and emit wavelengths of light, the electrons in the air surrounding the highly radioactive actinium become excited and emit photons as they return to the ground state.  This causes the surrounding air to glow an eerie blue color.  (Due to nitrogen).  In order to get this "glow", a substance has to be VERY radioactive and emit high energy particles at the same time.  If the element has too long of a half-life, it just doesn't emit enough particles to sustain the excitation of the surrounding air molecules.  If the element has a short half-life but weak energy on the emitted particles, then the air won't glow because there won't be enough energy to excite the electrons.
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Re:Nice Car Shine
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2006, 10:38:03 PM »
I think it might be Cherenkov (sp?) radiation.  My understanding is that this happens when a particle (say a beta electron) is traveling faster than the speed of light *in that material*.  The speed of light, when *not in a vacuum*, is slowed down by the index of refraction of the material.  In the case of H2O, this is around 30% or so.  Betas are usually moving close to real (as in vacuum) c, so they easily break this lower limit.  When it happens, you get kind of a 'sonic boom', except with light waves, not sound.

I think you need to have something that is very highly radioactive to see this.  I've never seen it myself, unfortunately.

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