Common Bricks May Record Evidence of Nuclear Weapons

Researchers have long studied retrospective dosimetry—looking at what kind of radiation was present in a room based on the signature left over in the environment. Frequently, this requires lots of treatment and work. One team of researchers at North Carolina State University thinks they have a simple way to detect the leftover radiation simply by taking a core of material out of a brick. Something like this could be important for things like nuclear weapons inspections. Read More >>

Fukushima is Teaching Us How Radioactivity Spreads 

After the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, scientists began a massive effort to monitor radioactive contamination of food grown nearby. And one good thing did come out of it—we learned how radioactivity moves through the ecosystem. Read More >>

Take a Tour of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth

People do some pretty dumb things for YouTube videos. Derek Muller does them for the sake of science, though. The host of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science, recently visited the most radioactive places on Earth for a TV show about how Uranium and radioactivity affected the modern world. And he lived to tell us about it. Read More >>

How to Store Nuclear Waste for 10,000 Years (and How Not To)

America has currently no plan for its nuclear waste. It did, however, at one point, have a supremely ambitious plan to bury it in a mountain for 10,000 years. From colour-changing radioactive cats to rotting cat litter, this essay from Method Quarterly explores the mythical and the mundane problems of nuclear waste. Read More >>

How Two Women Made Your Watch Glow in the Dark

On December 21, 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie discovered the radioactive element radium (in the form of radium chloride), extracting it from uraninite. They first removed the uranium from the uraninite sample and then found that the remaining matter was still radioactive, so investigated further. Along with the barium in the remaining substance, they also detected spectral lines that were crimson carmine, which no one had yet documented or, apparently, observed. These spectral lines were being given off by radium chloride, which they managed to separate from the barium. Five days later, they presented their findings to the French Academy of Sciences. Read More >>

The Most Radioactive Place in New York City is a Garage in Queens

Like so many NYC businesses, Primo Flat Fix occupies a nearly 100-year-old building. But this Queens garage sits on a very peculiar piece of dirt: the former site of Wolff-Alport Chemical Company, a rare-earth supplier that furnished the Atomic Energy Commission with radioactive thorium—when it wasn't dumping the toxic material in the sewer. Read More >>