One of the first magazine articles I ever remember reading on the internet was the story of a teenager who wanted to build a nuclear reactor at his home. This was probably in 1998, during the thick of my time in college majoring in physics. That time, as I recall, was before it was common to have magazine articles online. But Harpers Magazine was forward thinking, and the article was linked to from several nerdy websites that I read daily back then.
I learned about the concept of a breeder reactor, I learned that smoke detectors often used radioactive sources for their operation, and I learned that I wanted to know more about this story. I was happy to hear that the author of the book had written a full-length book on the topic.
It took me awhile, but I finally got around to reading the book "The Radioactive Boy Scout" a few years ago. I was not disappointed in the fleshing out of the story, although I was also not surprised that in parts of the book it felt like it was being padded to fill space.
The book was definitely a quick read, and it was worth going back to after years of first hearing the story.
The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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