spinthariscope love


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device for observing individual scintillations produced by ionizing radiation, as one consisting of a tube with a magnifying lens at one end and a phosphorescent screen and speck of radioactive salt at the other.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an early device used for observing individual nuclear disintegrations

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small instrument containing a minute particle of a radium compound mounted in front of a fluorescent screen and viewed with magnifying lenses. The tiny flashes produced by the continual bombardment of the screen by the α rays are thus rendered visible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An instrument, invented by Sir William Crookes, exhibiting the fluorescence produced by radium, containing a screen of fluorescent material, usually willemite (zinc silicate), on which a trace of radium is mounted, and a magnifying-glass in front of the screen. In darkness the screen shows a number of scintillating sparks caused by the impact of the radium rays on the willemite.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Greek spintharis, spark + -scope.



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  • When bored to the end of your rope

    Try a toy that will help you to cope:

    Watch atoms decay

    In their frivolous way

    In the lens of a spinthariscope.

    May 27, 2017