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Author: Subject: Jack Parsons and Mercury Fulminate?
quantumcorespacealchemyst
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Jack Parsons and Mercury Fulminate?

i was thinking about the recent mythbusters episode/special where they threw 50g of mercury fulminate at 60mph and it did not explode and then i thought about how jack parsons was said to have died from dropping mercury fulminate while mixing it in a cofee can.

please inform me of what i may be misunderstanding. if he3 was mixing it, wouldn't that be during synthesis while it is unreactive, and wet?

anyway, doing the calculations for momentum assuming that it hits a unmoving floor and experiences similar forces based on momentum (please tell me the actual in depth formulas to calculate the real forces)

so 50g times 26.8224 m / s(60mph) so if a man is dropping something from say 1meter with an acceleration due to gravity of 9.81m/s^2 than
using d = vi * t + 1/2 * a * t^2
1m = 0m/s * t + 1/2 * 9.81m/s^2 * t^2
1m = 1/2 * 9.81m/s^2 * t^2
1m / 1/2 * 9.81m/s^2= t^2
[1m / 1/2 * 9.81m/s^2] ^(1/2)= t
time = 0.451523541seconds
so using vf = vi + a * t
vf = 0m/s + 9.81m/s^2 * 0.451523541s
vf = 4.429446918m/s

so if 50g * 26.8224 m/s = 1341.12 gm/s
and 1341.12 gm/s / 4.42944691m/s =302.7736927g

than can we assume that using the mythbusters data, that jack parsons was then mixing more than 302.7736927g of dry mercury fulminate in a coffee can in the fist place?

this sounds absurd to me in the first place. i don't know. i have yet to calculate the amount that a coffe can can hold, and i don't know the size of the can. the sizes are on the small size unless one counts those jumbo sized ones. and i am uncertain about it.

so, what do you think?

one block from the death section from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Parsons_%28rocket_engineer...

"Pasadena Police Department criminologist Don Harding led the official investigation; he concluded that Parsons had been mixing fulminate of mercury in a coffee can when he dropped it on the floor, causing the initial explosion, which worsened when it came into contact with other chemicals in the room.[148] Forman considered this likely, stating that Parsons often had sweaty hands and could easily have dropped the can.[149] Some of Parsons' colleagues rejected this explanation, saying that he was very attentive about safety. Two colleagues from the Bermite Powder Company described Parsons' work habits as "scrupulously neat" and "exceptionally cautious". The latter statement—from chemical engineer George Santymers—insisted that the explosion must have come from beneath the floorboards, implying an organized plot to kill Parsons. Harding accepted that these inconsistencies were "incongruous" but described the manner in which Parsons had stored his chemicals as "criminally negligent". He also found a morphine-filled syringe at the scene, indicating that Parsons was narcotized. The police saw insufficient evidence to continue the investigation and closed the case as an accidental death.[150]"

NexusDNA
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So... you're a physicist?

Interesting article. "One of Cameron's friends, the artist Renate Druks, later stated her belief that Parsons had died in a rite designed to create a homunculus."

Come on, no one mixes mercury fulminate in a coffee can. One must be really stupid to drop a can full of primary [implying one was holding it in the air]. I have an inkling that a conjuration rite is not the case - maybe he was trying to create a philosopher's stone (he had one arm amputated! that's evidence!).

So, you've got two possibilities: homicide or suicide. I doubt a chemist would kill himself with explosives; better: I doubt a chemist would try to kill himself dropping a can of mercury fulminate onto his feet.

Bromine, definitely bromine.
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Why are you equating the impulse of the mass in the mythbusters experiment to that of the alleged coffeepot with mercury fulminate?

-----
"If a rocket goes up, who cares where it comes down, that's not my concern said Wernher von Braun" - Tom Lehrer
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Mythbusters has little in common with real science. Ratings are far more important than the laws of physics. Besides using something to stir such a dangerous chemical in a metal can is far more likely to cause friction initiation than dropping the can. So why were they not stirring the 50 gm instead of tossing it out at 60 MPH?

As to the possibility of homicide one usually tries to find who has the greatest motive. Hubbard cons him out of thousands for a scheme selling boats, tries to escape in one with ten grand and the girl. Being the paranoid person Hubbard was one could wonder how much of a threat to his schemes Parsons was in his eyes. How good would a living witness be for someone founding a new 'church' such as Scientology or running advertising for the book 'Dianetics'? One could conclude Hubbard did not want any living talking 'skeletons' in his closet. Far better if they were silently in the ground. No doubt others with possible motives existed but this one stands out to me.

"Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 he incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey."

Hubbards Dianetics existed prior to 1952 so I think it very likely Hubbard would worry that someone who could prove he was a thief and con man could be a serious threat to him. Thus motive on several levels if you ask me.

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
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 Quote: Originally posted by IrC As to the possibility of homicide one usually tries to find who has the greatest motive. Hubbard cons him out of thousands for a scheme selling boats, tries to escape in one with ten grand and the girl. Being the paranoid person Hubbard was one could wonder how much of a threat to his schemes Parsons was in his eyes. How good would a living witness be for someone founding a new 'church' such as Scientology or running advertising for the book 'Dianetics'? One could conclude Hubbard did not want any living talking 'skeletons' in his closet. Far better if they were silently in the ground. No doubt others with possible motives existed but this one stands out to me. "Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 he incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey." Hubbards Dianetics existed prior to 1952 so I think it very likely Hubbard would worry that someone who could prove he was a thief and con man could be a serious threat to him. Thus motive on several levels if you ask me.

I actually agree. Hubbard was a psychopath, only interested in his own fame and profit.
quantumcorespacealchemyst
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horrible, what about the amputated am, to make the philosophers' stone (accomplish the great work)? what is that?

also here's just some random, non causal observation / thoughts on it as well

interesting too is that Hubbard's son reportedly testified that his father was using his church members to try to obtain the hydrogen bomb design.

Parsons had died the year it was detonated.
"It has been rumoured that this was the end result of building psychological pressures. Otherwise, why would he have dropped what he was said to have, when a trash can containing cordite and wrappers of fulminate of mercury was nearby? Especially since he was about to travel to Mexico to test a new explosive he had devised, which was "more powerful than anything yet invented." George Santmeyers, who had worked with him for five years on industrial projects (and did not believe in the rumors of his magical activities) did not think an accident plausible, considering Parsons' technical knowledge. (26)"
(26.
Nat Freedland, The Occult Explosion (New York: Berkley, 1972), pp. 163-164. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bb/babalon004.htm)

he died amist the washington UFO sightings "was a series of unidentified flying object reports from July 12 to July 29, 1952, over Washington, D.C. The most publicized sightings took place on consecutive weekends, July 19–20 and July 26–27.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1952_Washington,_D.C._UFO_incident"

as well as around the same time the search for near earth satellites was begun.
"Near-Earth satellite search
Clyde Tombaugh (left) discussing search for near-Earth satellites with Lincoln LaPaz (right), March 3, 1954. Photo from The Albuquerque Journal

Tombaugh's offer may have led to his involvement in a search for near-Earth satellites, first announced in late 1953 and sponsored by the Army Office of Ordnance Research. Another public statement was made on the search in March 1954 (photo at right), emphasizing the rationale that such an orbiting object would serve as a natural space station.[25] However, according to Donald Keyhoe, later director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), the real reason for the sudden search was because two near-Earth orbiting objects had been picked up on new long-range radar in the summer of 1953, according to his Pentagon source.

By May 1954, Keyhoe was making public statements that his sources told him the search had indeed been successful, and either one or two objects had been found.[26] However, the story did not break until August 23, 1954, when Aviation Week magazine stated that two satellites had been found only 400 and 600 miles out. They were termed "natural satellites" and implied that they had been recently captured, despite this being a virtual impossibility. The next day, the story was in many major newspapers. Dr. LaPaz was implicated in the discovery in addition to Tombaugh. LaPaz had earlier conducted secret investigations on behalf of the Air Force on the green fireballs and other unidentified aerial phenomena over New Mexico. The New York Times reported on August 29 that "a source close to the O. O. R. unit here described as 'quite accurate' the report in the magazine Aviation Week that two previously unobserved satellites had been spotted and identified by Dr. Lincoln Lepaz of the University of New Mexico as natural and not artificial objects. This source also said there was absolutely no connection between the reported satellites and flying saucer reports."[27] However, in the October 10th issue, LaPaz said the magazine article was "false in every particular, in so far as reference to me is concerned."[28]

Both LaPaz and Tombaugh were to issue public denials that anything had been found. The October 1955 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine reported: "Professor Tombaugh is closemouthed about his results. He won't say whether or not any small natural satellites have been discovered. He does say, however, that newspaper reports of 18 months ago announcing the discovery of natural satellites at 400 and 600 miles out are not correct. He adds that there is no connection between the search program and the reports of so-called flying saucers."[29]

At a meteor conference in Los Angeles in 1957, Tombaugh reiterated that his four-year search for "natural satellites" had been unsuccessful.[30] In 1959, Tombaugh was to issue a final report stating that nothing had been found in his search. His personal 16-inch telescope was reassembled and dedicated on September 17, 2009 at Rancho Hidalgo, New Mexico (near Animas, New Mexico), adjacent to Astronomy 's new observatory.[31]"

" "Armed Forces Seeks "Steppingstone to Stars"". Los Angeles Times. 1954-03-04.
"1 or 2 Artificial Satellites Circling Earth, Says Expert". San Francisco Examiner. 1954-05-14. p. 14.
"Earth 'Satellites' Spur Army Study". New York Times. August 29, 1954. p. 35.
"Scientist denies space base find". New York Times. October 10, 1954.
Stimson, Jr., Thomas E. (October 1955). "He Spies on Satellites". Popular Mechanics. p. 106.
Los Angeles Times. 1957-09-04. Missing or empty |title= (help)
David J. Eicher (January 2010). "Astronomy ("Editors dedicate... new observatory")". Kalmbach Publishing. p. 8."

also just to note, besides the discover of Pluto's noting of UFO sightings, he reportedly

"In 1949, Tombaugh had also told the Naval missile director at White Sands Missile Range, Commander Robert McLaughlin, that he had seen a bright flash on Mars on August 27, 1941, which he now attributed to an atomic blast.[23] Tombaugh also noted that the first atomic bomb tested in New Mexico would have lit up the dark side of the Earth like a neon sign and that Mars was coincidentally quite close at the time, the implication apparently being that the atomic test would have been visible from Mars."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyde_Tombaugh

"23. McLaughlin, Robert (1949-05-12). "Letter from Robert McLaughlin to James Van Allen". Roswell Proof. Retrieved 2007-02-28."

that actual letter is scanned here http://www.roswellproof.com/McLaughlin_Van_Allen_letter.html
the second page.

the homunculus nebula surrounds Eta Carinae, the massive star that is supposedly due to supernova o hypernova soon.
NASA absorbed JPL, the company co-founded with forman and melina although that may not mean anything, it makes me wonder.

the police cheif who was imprisoned due to parsons expert testimony also may have had motive and parsons co-woker from the powder company he worked at said it looked like the explosion came from underneath the floorboards.

i would assume that any amount of actual high explosive would immediately kill due to hydrostatic shock. also on the mythbusters episode apparently everything was demolished.

suicide by explosive doesn't seem odd to me i he did commit suicide.

lastly, just some text from the wikipedia

"Parsons had met Helen Northup at a local church dance and proposed marriage in July 1934. She accepted and they were married in April 1935 at the Little Church of the Flowers in Forest Lane Memorial Park, Glendale, before undertaking a brief honeymoon in San Diego.[34] They moved into a house on South Terrace Drive, Pasadena, while Parsons gained employment for the explosives manufacturer Halifax Powder Company at their facility in Saugus. Much to Helen's dismay, Parsons spent most of his wages funding the GALCIT Rocket Research Group.[35] For extra money he manufactured nitroglycerin in their home, constructing a home laboratory on their front porch, and at one point he pawned Helen's engagement ring and would often ask her family for loans.[36]

Malina recounted that "Parsons and Forman were not too pleased with an austere program that did not include at least the launching of model rockets",[31] but the Group reached the consensus of developing a working static rocket-motor before embarking on more complex research. They contacted liquid-fuel rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard and he invited Malina to his facility in Roswell, New Mexico, but he was not interested in cooperating — reticent about sharing his research and having been subjected to widespread derision for his work in rocketry.[37] They were instead joined by Caltech graduate students Apollo M. O. "Amo" Smith, Carlos C. Wood, Mark Muir Mills, Fred S. Miller, William C. Rockefeller, and Rudolph Schott; Schott was relied upon for the use of his pickup truck to transport equipment.[38] Their first liquid-fuel motor test took place near the Devil's Gate Dam in the Arroyo Seco on Halloween 1936.[39][40] Parsons' biographer John Carter described the layout of the contraption as showing[41]

oxygen flowing from one side, with methyl alcohol (the fuel) and nitrogen flowing from the other side. Water cooled the rocket during the burn. Thrust pulled down a spring which measured force. The deflection of the spring measured the force applied to it. A small diamond tip on the apparatus scratched a glass plate to mark the furthest point of deflection. The rocket and mount were protected by sandbags, with the tanks (and the experimenters) well away from it.

Three attempts to fire the rocket failed; on the fourth the oxygen line was accidentally ignited and perilously billowed fire at the Group, but they viewed this experience as formative.[42] They continued their experiments throughout the final quarter of 1936; after the final test was successfully completed in January 1937 von Kármán agreed that they could perform their future experiments at an exclusive rocket testing facility on campus.[43][44][45]
Parsons in 1938, holding the replica car bomb used in the murder trial of police officer Captain Earl Kynette.

In April 1937 Caltech mathematician Qian Xuesen (a Chinese citizen) joined the Group. Several months later Weld Arnold, a Caltech laboratory assistant who worked as the Group's official photographer, also joined. The main reason for Arnold's appointment to this position was his provision of a donation to the Group on behalf of an anonymous benefactor whose identity was never revealed.[46] They became well known on campus, earning the moniker of the "Suicide Squad" for the dangerous nature of some of their experiments and attracting attention from the local press.[47] Parsons himself gained further media publicity when he appeared as an expert explosives witness in the trial of Captain Earl Kynette, the head of police intelligence in Los Angeles who was accused of conspiring to set a car bomb in the attempted murder of private investigator Harry Raymond, a former LAPD detective who was fired after challenging corruption in the force. When Kynette was convicted largely on Parsons' testimony, which included his forensic reconstruction of the car bomb and its explosion, his identity as an expert scientist in the public eye was established despite his lack of a university education.[48][49] While working at Caltech, Parsons was admitted to evening courses in chemistry at the University of Southern California (USC), but distracted by his GALCIT workload he attended sporadically and received unexceptional grades.[50]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Whiteside_Parsons

making nitroglycerine on the front porch. pioneering the rocket program with a team. it makes me think about my current level of accomplishment (or lack of).

anyone see that goddard's lab was in Roswell ? also doesnt prove anything.

"Carter 2004, p. 7; Pendle 2005, pp. 84–89.
Carter 2004, p. 7; Pendle 2005, p. 89.
Pendle 2005, pp. 105–106.
Carter 2004, p. 12; Pendle 2005, pp. 96–98.
Carter 2004, p. 12; Pendle 2005, p. 99.
Carter 2004, p. 72; Pendle 2005, pp. 196–199.
"The Spark of a New Era". jpl.nasa.gov. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. October 25, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
Carter 2004, p. 16.
Carter 2004, p. 15–16; Pendle 2005, pp. 98–103.
Carter 2004, p. 17; Pendle 2005, p. 103.
"Early History > First Rocket Test". jpl.nasa.gov. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
"GALCIT History (1921–1940)". California Institute of Technology. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
Carter 2004, p. 17; Pendle 2005, pp. 106–107.
Carter 2004, pp. 17–18; Pendle 2005, pp. 108–111.
Carter 2004, pp. 26–28; Pendle 2005, pp. 114–116.
Harnisch, Larry (May 7, 2008). "Jack Parsons, RIP". latimesblogs.latimes.com. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
Pendle 2005, pp. 112, 314."

that's a mess of seemingly irrelevance data but anyway

when i see Fox Mulder's poster from the fist X-files, i think, "i already believe, i want to know"

i hope he didn't die and that the joke JPL stands for Jack Parsons Lives is true. i don't know what that would mean about the poor human who was in the explosion then. Hubbard's church tells people he was a government agent sent to infiltrate a black magic cult and rescue an innocent girl, cough cough bullshit. Pasons lost his security clearance to wok with the rockets he built, from being suspected of being a communist. during that time he was talking to Israel about working on their program and was also dealing with Mexico building explosive plants. when he got his clearance back, he was criticised for passing documents to Israel when he was out of options to build the rockets he helped pioneer, and even though they were not classified documents and stuff he originally wrote, the government revoked his security clearance again. That was shortly before he died, when he was supposedly planning to test his new explosive in Mexico.

[Edited on 16-10-2015 by quantumcorespacealchemyst]

Deathunter88
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Yeah, I agree that myth busters sometimes ignore the science for a rating. For example, in the episode where they tested whether or not a cherry bomb inside a sewage system could make geysers come out of the toilets, they used 10g of black powder to make "replica" cherry bombs. But cherry bombs do not contain black power, instead it contains flash powder so that test was not accurate.

Another possible reason that the fulminate powder in the Mythbusters show did not detonate was because of the small particle size. The large crystal of mercury fulminate that Walter White threw would have broken when it hit the ground, the fracture could have had enough activation energy to make it detonate.
quantumcorespacealchemyst
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yeah. lol, didn't see that one. i remember trying to tell them the smoke bomb actually works too, if it is smothered.

(i used sodium nitrate, replaced/added more paraffin than sugar and carmelized it but watching the burn rate of their test to mine, before i smothered it, it seemed like they were not really caring about it enough to make it work)
also i have not seen so much smoke. all remember was less nitrate than fuel (it's not a rocket), use alot of candles. melt it carefully while stirring, cast it back into the candle jars with a wick/fuse, light it, cover it with tin foil and....that was that awesome. i'd have to look up the ratios/recipe again.
now im thinking about halloween smoke bombs; that is a perfect atmosphere with lights muhahahaha. we gotta get white wigs and bubbling test tubes too or a delorean. lol.

yeah, that makes sense. later on after watching that part, i realized that must have taken alot of mercury and nitric acid. a high school lab probably wouldn't have that, the Hg most likely. after what you wrote, i realize, with crystals that big, he would of had to let it crystallize...haha. the time lapse must have been epic. lol.
i wonder, do you think even putting those things from a dish to a bag would have killed walter white? or even static electricity?

Jack Parsons Lives (i hope)

happy halloween,

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Miscellaneous » Jack Parsons and Mercury Fulminate? Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues