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Ever dreamed about building an x-ray tube? Or coating your own telescope mirror? Maybe even constructing an electron microscope? Perhaps you are a high school science teacher who would like to introduce simple yet interesting electron, ion and plasma physics experiments and demonstrations into your classroom. People the world over are involved in projects like these and the common thread is the use of vacuum technology. the Bell Jar is the resource that you need to join this network of hobbyists, students and educators.

Updates as of 12/21/2012

Recent updates include a couple of additions to the Recommended Books page and new article links added to the list of my articles in Vacuum Coating & Technology magazine.

Please check out the new book Exploring Quantum Physics through Hands-On Projects by father-daughter team David and Shanni Putchi on the Books page. This is a asset for the serious physics hobbyist. An Amazon link is in left column. Needless to say, vacuum experiments and apparatus are covered.

Previous Updates

I now have added direct links to all of the Guides to Vacuum Technology columns that I have written for Vacuum Technology & Coating magazine. You can get to the index from the Articles and Publications page or direct though this link. These go back to April 2009. I will add new links each month going forward since it's an ongoing monthly column.

I have added a new section on Ongoing Projects that I am working on. This is under the Booklets, Extended Articles and New Content section of the Articles and Publications page.

If registering for the Forum, please read the Forum Registration Rules via the navigation button to the left. This will prevent your registration from being confused with (and discarded with) spam.

The Second Five Years Compilation is complete!

Please see the Articles & Publications page.

I have added the booklet Exploding Wires to the Articles and Publications page. There is also a link to a new vacuum tutorial An Introduction to Vacuum Technology for the Amateur Scientist. The Educational Links page has also been fully updated.

Next up are updates to the Chambers & Supplies page and getting the Forum recharged.

I added the start of a line of semi-custom chambers and will be adding a bell jar style glass chamber along with a matching baseplate. These and the new additions may be found on the "Chambers & Supplies" page.

For Technology and Physics Educators: I have expanded the coverage of vacuum training systems to include, in addition to the forum topics, information on accessories and support services. A new button has been added to the menu on the home page.

I have added a collection of notes and letters from Frank Lee concerning his thoughts on small homemade diffusion pumps. This may be found on the Articles page in the Frank Lee section.

Buy the Editor a Cup of Coffee - Help Support the Bell Jar

Content added after 2007 will be free. To help keep this site growing, please consider donating whenever you see something you really like.

Orders for books and other merchandise made through also provide support to the Bell Jar.

Other Topics of Possible Interest

Vacuum Debubbling Systems for gel candlemaking and other hobby and commercial deairing applications. Newly Updated!

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