Chemistry & Physics

(Cold War) Soole, B. W. | RADIAC Slide Rule

  • Reserved An uncommon slide rule designed to calculate radiation doses after the explosion of a fission weapon. Similar examples are held at the Science Museum in London, the Oak Ridge Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity, and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney.

    Because the radioactive products of fission explosions decay over time, the dose that individuals have received cannot be calculated by simply multiplying the current radiation levels by the length of exposure. To solve this problem, B. W. Soole of the Admiralty Research Laboratory designed this slide rule for simple and fast dose calculations in the event of nuclear war, and described it in a paper published in the Journal of Scientific Instruments (volume 29, number 6) in 1952. The instructions on the back explain its three functions: computing the dose-rate at any point in time from the moment of explosion; determining the dose received between two points in time; and determining the same for doses received from contaminated sea water rather than the air.

  • Teddington, England: Blundell Rules Limited for the Admiralty Research Laboratory,

    Heavy plastic slide rule (29.5 x 6.5cm) with 5 scales and clear plastic slider. Text printed in black, red, and green. In the original green cloth-over-card box. Excellent condition with just a few tiny marks. The case is worn and bumped, has sustained water damage, and has a white sticker with manuscript identification numbers in black ink.