Watching uranium emit radiation inside a cloud chamber is mesmerizing

Here's a really neat, classic experiment that's always fun to see. When you place uranium inside a cloud chamber, you can see it decay and emit bits of radiation. It's like seeing little alpha particle torpedoes shooting out in every direction, leaving a trail behind. » 3/07/15 1:56pm 3/07/15 1:56pm

This Eerie Chandelier Is Controlled By A Geiger Counter

Artist Phillip Stearns' A Chandelier For One of Many Possible Endings is a custom light fixture containing 92 elements, each connected to a Geiger counter and each representing an electron in a Uranium atom. They light up in response to radiation, creating a haunting pattern. » 2/28/15 4:15pm 2/28/15 4:15pm

The Victorians Used To Use Uranium To Make Glowing Glassware

We love artwork made with innovative materials — but sometimes, it can go too far. This Victorian-era glassware, made with uranium to make it glow, is definitely in that category. » 6/25/14 11:35am 6/25/14 11:35am

Single-celled extremophiles can deal with toxic uranium in very…

At io9, we love extremophiles, the litte creatures which can survive and thrive in the most insane conditions our planet has to offer. A new study has shown that even when two extremophiles are very closely related, they can handle toxic conditions in very different ways. » 9/29/12 1:00pm 9/29/12 1:00pm

Why are these trees made of uranium?

Buried in the deserts of the world are fossils of trees and animals that died millions of years ago. Those fossils are often made of packed sediment. Occasionally, that sediment is uranium. » 5/14/12 8:00am 5/14/12 8:00am

Photos of daily life in the US government's secret atomic city

In 1942, the US government acquired the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee. From then on, Oak Ridge was just like any other town — except for the fences, the guards, and the top-secret uranium separating facility. » 4/15/12 12:30pm 4/15/12 12:30pm

How big of a dose of radiation do you get when reading Playboy?

Glossy magazines often contain a substance that has elevated levels of uranium and thorium. This means that reading one for various lengths of time slightly heightens your level of radiation exposure. Find out how much magazines like Playboy are poisoning your body, even if they're not corrupting your mind and… » 9/22/11 7:00am 9/22/11 7:00am

Electro-bugs have appendages that zap the uranium out of water

The bacteria known as Geobacter sulfurreducens, when exposed to uranium, pretty much just die. But under certain conditions, they can grow appendages that can literally make uranium drop out of water like a stone. Scientists have found a way to get them to grow the right way, and may even be able to recreate them… » 9/07/11 7:40am 9/07/11 7:40am

Where is all the Earth's heat coming from?

Earth runs on massive amounts of heat, enough to melt iron in the core and create our magnetic field, enough to power the constant movement of plate tectonics. Where all this heat comes from is a mystery...but we're getting closer. » 7/17/11 10:00am 7/17/11 10:00am

What does it mean to "enrich" Uranium?

A must-read entry for all future dictators. Take a look at the meaning of "enriching uranium," why it's necessary, and some of the processes used to do it. » 6/06/10 8:00am 6/06/10 8:00am

Return Of The UFO That Mined Uranium In Argentina During The 1970s?

An Argentinian newspaper reports that people have witnessed the return of UFOs that once mined uranium in the Frías area. In fact, this image is a cell phone snap of a recent UFO visit to the region. » 1/28/10 9:00am 1/28/10 9:00am

A History of Uranium, the Rock That Nuked the World

Uranium was considered a useless material until very recently in human history, when it quite literally exploded into the public consciousness. Tom Zoellner's engaging new book Uranium reveals how this once-humble element transformed human civilization. » 4/29/09 2:19pm 4/29/09 2:19pm

T-Shirts That Advertise Atomic Structures

Uranium is one of the most notorious elements — it's gotten a pretty bad rap due to its tendency to show up in nuclear weapons. Also, it's kind of radioactive. That's probably why it's such a great element to show your support for in t-shirt form. Woot! has uranium tees » 9/04/08 7:00am 9/04/08 7:00am that pay tribute to this crazy, 92-proton…