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Man Arrested for Trying to Split Atoms In His Kitchen

August 3, 2011

Richard Handl didn't see the harm in trying to split the atom in his kitchen.

Swedish police busted a 31-year-old science enthusiast recently, after he wrote the Swedish Radiation Authority asking if it was OK if he tried to split atoms in his kitchen. Richard Handl had been trying to do just that for months, blogging about his experiments as he went, the AP reports. In one memorable post, he described a minor meltdown on his stove.

“I have always been interested in physics and chemistry,” he explained, saying he just wanted to “see if it’s possible to split atoms at home.” He was arrested in July on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material—he had radium, americium, and uranium in his apartment—but spoke about it for the first time today. He faces two years in prison if convicted. “From now on, I will stick to the theory,” he promised.

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