Man Arrested For Trying to Split the Atom at Home

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Man Arrested For Trying to Split the Atom at Home

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A Swedish man bravely furthering nuclear science in his own home has been arrested by meddlesome police.

As the popular saying goes: "Everyone needs a hobby." Some of us play videogames, some of us play sports, others collect stamps, coins or clippings of an unwitting celebrity's hair, and some of us attempt to build nuclear reactors in our kitchens.

That's how Swedish gentleman and scholar Rich Handl was spending his time when police barged into his house and arrested him for "unauthorized possession of nuclear material." Handl, who is 31 and has "always been interested in physics and chemistry," was apparently storing radioactive elements including Radium, Americium and that old-standby Uranium, in his apartment because he wanted to "see if [was] possible to split the atom at home."

Apparently, Handl's blog, in which he described his experiments, including one that went particularly awry and caused a "small meltdown" on his stove, wasn't enough to convince local authorities to pay him a visit. It took a call from the amateur scientist himself to bring to the police to his door. Worried that perhaps unleashing the power of the atom in his kitchen without any safety equipment save a sink and a box of chocopuffs might just violate a few laws, Handl made a friendly call to Sweden's Radiation authority to make sure everything was above board. The authority responded by immediately calling the police, the bastards.

Police arrested Handl back in July but have declined to comment on the case since then. Though no "dangerous" levels of radiation were detected in his apartment, the curious Swede still could face up to two years in prison if convicted.

UPDATE: Helpful reader Dismal Purple has provided us a link to what appears to be Handl's aforementioned blog.

Source: Sfgate

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... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

Great choice on the image there!

OT:

Not G. Ivingname:
... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

Both, I fear.

it was only 1 atom. no one would miss it...

Not G. Ivingname:
... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

Like all mad scientist, both.

And those nifty bastards calling the cops, he was only doing it for SCIENCE![1]

[1]

Damn there goes my science experiment for this year.

it kinda feels like the Radiation people were not cool at all, calling the police. The guy just wanted to know if everything was okay and good, and just had to call the cops. They just couldn't say "No, you shouldn't do that, if you already didn't know that", before making the call to the cops. Sure it's kinda obvious that splitting an atom in your kitchen isn't the best of ideas, but still. Quite rude of them to do this.

Everyone knows that nuclear physics is a gateway mad science. If they didn't stop him, he'd eventually move on to cloning, super-serums, doomsday devices, and trying to kill Superman.

Splitting the atom in his kitchen? I want THAT chef knife.

Only two years? Sweden is light on atomic crime. Being caught with fissionable materials in the US would net you a much longer stay in a Fed facility.

orangeapples:
it was only 1 atom. no one would miss it...

Would anybody miss the one town it would take with it?

...Sweet, So this means I can do this at home to? I wonder where he got the materials...

Errr...I mean, That crazy guy! Trying to split atoms in his kitchen.

>.>

Apparently, Handl's blog, in which he described his experiments, including one that went particularly awry and caused a "small meltdown" on his stove...
After that I was like WTF, a small meltdown, a small fucking meltdown, what is he a Batman villain.

There is only one proper reaction to this.

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GREAT SCOTT!!

All I could think of while reading this was the music video to Billy Talent's 'Standing in the Rain' ..... lol

Funny, I didn't know being awesome was a crime nowadays.

Dark Prophet:
Apparently, Handl's blog, in which he described his experiments, including one that went particularly awry and caused a "small meltdown" on his stove...
After that I was like WTF, a small meltdown, a small fucking meltdown, what is he a Batman villain.

Clearly it was a small meltdown, have you seen the size of Swedish stoves?

Who knows, maybe he would of become famous for splitting an atom in his kitchen if it weren't for the police or you know killing himself from the splitting reaction and taken along the people with him in that neighbourhood.

Tzekelkan:
Funny, I didn't know being awesome was a crime nowadays.

Being awesome enough to kill thousands of people probably is, though.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that this guy's favorite movie growing up was Ghostbusters
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I'm warning you, shutting that off would be a very bad idea...

I love that we have governmental bodies deciding who can and cannot do science and the implied tagline is "loony asshole attempts fission." God help us all.

By the way the police "barged" in the Swedish way not the American... So more of "hey 'scuse us but you called and we want to look around... may we come in.." ;-)
And well it has been done before, though not in Sweden probably because it actually been "not to legal" to research (in other words study and science in school) in nuclear power in Sweden (yes really) for about 20 or so years (not sure exact..)

Not G. Ivingname:
... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

I must also concur. He seems the very image of the baffled, absent-minded scientist, diligently working on his experiments but inept at everything else.

Still, considering he turned himself in can we not be too hard on the guy?

I bet there will still be people who will insist that his "freedoms and rights" are being violated by having him arrested.......

Ghengis John:

Not G. Ivingname:
... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

I must also concur. He seems the very image of the baffled, absent-minded scientist, diligently working on his experiments but inept at everything else.

Still, considering he turned himself in can we not be too hard on the guy?

"Turned himself in" looks more like he contacted the radiation authorities just to be sure he didn't fuck up his newly bought kitchen.

According to reports, when arested the man stated in a loud voice "You'll pay for this, you'll all pay. No one understands my genius. Mwahahaha, mwahaha."

I'm just wondering if this is Sheldon's long lost father/uncle?

Ghengis John:

Not G. Ivingname:
... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

I must also concur. He seems the very image of the baffled, absent-minded scientist, diligently working on his experiments but inept at everything else.

Still, considering he turned himself in can we not be too hard on the guy?

One of my favorites quotes is form Tomorrow Never Dies
"The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success."

man is ridculous to the 134354389785943725th power.

I'm really glad this guy did it first, that was gonna be my next personal project...

This guy sound awesome. I've always waned to build a small nuclear reactor, but it's hard to find materials.

samsonguy920:
Only two years? Sweden is light on atomic crime. Being caught with fissionable materials in the US would net you a much longer stay in a Fed facility.

orangeapples:
it was only 1 atom. no one would miss it...

Would anybody miss the one town it would take with it?

I don't think splitting one atom = nuclear explosion.

I think splitting the atoms in a chunk of unstable uranium = nuclear explosion.

Okay, who else here that visits That Guy with the Glasses wants to see Nash do this story now asides me?

This is one of those cases where the criminal needs to be hired because if he can do it at home without a proper multi-million dollar lab who knows what else he can do?

Not G. Ivingname:
... I am baffled wondering if this guy was a genius or a moron.

And thus the basis of this entire thread is laid bare.

OT: Seriously, way to go guy, six more months and I presume he would have made a giant robot to be powered by his mini-reactor.

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