SCIENTIST SPLITS ATOM, FINDS TOY PRIZE INSIDE
Promise of Hidden Surprises Has Propelled Fission Research for Decades
A Princeton physicist recently split an atom of hydrogen and found a toy prize inside, the journal Science reported in its June issue.
"It was just a cheap plastic clicker you use to make cricket sounds, and it broke, like, the second time I used it, but it was the surprise I found most satisfying," said Prof. Harold Lumiere of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
Science noted that it was the first prize found inside an atom since Allison Wyatt of Cambridge University discovered a magic puzzle toy in a lithium atom in February. For Lumiere, it was the first time in his 15- year, atom-splitting career that he has come across anything more than the normal protons, gluons, and quarks.
"I know that over at MIT, Hendricks has amassed an entire collection of little gewgaws — spinning tops, decoder rings, stickers," he said. "He is so lucky. I hate him."
In this colorized photo,
physicist Enrico Fermi brags
about the plastic whistle he
found after splitting open a