The troublemaker Mr X is back with a mind full of wicked plans, ideas and much more… (Scroll down for a bonus!)
By Nandita Jayaraj
Mr X rubbed his hands in glee. Who knew Earth had so many young geniuses!
“Should I go for the Atom Duplicator…,” he thought.
“Or maybe the Nuclear Enhancer. My uranium-powered Vrooler would be even faster with that accessory…”
“Ah yes! This Proton Smasher is what I’m taking with me. It’s exactly what I need to create new forms of matter while building my utopian planet.”
Mr X was a judge at the Annual Genius Science Fair. But if you were there, you probably wouldn’t have known because he was in disguise. And he wasn’t there to judge, but to steal.
“Dr. Oompakala, did you take a look at that gizmo over there?” said a lady to Mr X, who nodded, though his eyes were fixed on the Proton* Smasher.
The real Dr Oompakala was recovering from a nervous breakdown in Hawaii. His skinny frame and bushy beard made him convenient for Mr X to impersonate. Now all that was left to do was to slip away with the Proton Smasher and make his escape.
So you see why Mr X really wasn’t interested in what his fellow judge was saying.
But maybe he should have been, because the gizmo that she was pointing at was built by two rather special little geniuses…
“Arby, something about that Judge Oompakala seems strangely familiar?” Alby asked his fellow Smarty.
“Shhh Alby, and help me set up the Muon* Scanner! I’m a little nervous about playing with exotic atoms*.”
“Exotic atoms!” exclaimed a friendly voice behind them.
“I’m Dr Mina, one of the judges. Why don’t you tell me what your device does.”
Arby took a deep breath.
“This is a Muon Scanner. When we press this button, it releases a beam of negatively charged particles called muons.”
Alby took some iron nails and placed them in the path of the beam. “Watch this.”
The digital display started blinking ‘SAFE MATERIAL’.
“Brilliant” deduced Dr Mina. “So the muons replace an electron in the iron atoms to form exotic atoms… as a result X-rays are released.. .and your gadget scans the X-ray to find out what kind of material the muons are hitting.”
“Yes! We can identify any element this way and the device will tell you if it’s safe or not,” explained Alby.
Dr Mina nodded and walked away smiling. The boys saw her stop to whisper something to Judge Oompakala, who looked kind of distracted. “Pretty sure she’s impressed!” Alby said happily, turning to give his Arby a high five.
But he missed, and thumped the button on the scanner instead!
A beam of muons shot in the direction of the car park. Immediately, the alarm on the Muon Scanner went off. “RADIOACTIVE!” the display blinked furiously.
The crowd at the Science Fair all turned to what the beam was pointing at.
“It’s Mr X’s Vrooler! It runs on uranium, no wonder our scanner caught it. But wait, why is it here?” shouted Alby.
At that precise moment, Dr Oompakala started running towards the exit. Wait a minute, did his beard just fall off?
“That’s not Dr Oompakala! Security, catch him!”
Back at BW Labs, Alby and Arby were relaxing their muscles with a bubble bath, admiring their trophy. “Dr Oompakala should be thankful to our Muon Scanner. We saved his reputation!” said Alby. “Oh, didn’t you hear? He returned from Hawaii to hear what happened and had another nervous breakdown!”
Are you curious about what else was there at the Science Fair? Check it out!
Is skateboarding just not fast enough for you? Sye bye-bye to friction with Kamala’s Vacboard. It operates by creating a vacuum path to you destination. Vacuum is emptiness – no matter, no atoms. That means there’s literally nothing slowing down the Vacboard!
Syed’s Autoformulizer is every chemistry geek’s dream come true. It has a nano-lab chip embedded inside, which performs quick tests on any item you place before it. It then gives you its exact chemical composition. For example, Syed just found out that his hand is H13750N330C2250Ca63P48K15S15Na10Cl6Mg3Fe.
Did you know that the element that makes up the lead in your pencils – carbon – also makes up diamonds? The difference is the way the carbon atoms are connected. Sara’s Bond Jumbler can convert graphite to diamond by fiddling with inter-atomic forces. How cool is that!