Day 59

Chevy Chase (October 31, 2019)

On Halloween, we headed back to the leaf covered streets of Chevy Chase.

We ran into more than the usual number of fellow walkers, with children dressed in their costumes heading out to parties or door to door trick or treating, their parents tagging along behind. Our halloween decoration of the day was this rather intimidating life size dragon.

Buildings we enjoyed along the way included this Spanish style home.

And this quaint garden shed

This home was guarded by a rather formidable looking jack-o-lantern.

We passed by the Carnegie Institution for Science. The building pictured below sits on the grounds of the Institution. It may look like a planetary observatory, built to observe the stars but it is, in fact, an Atomic Physics Observatory, or “atom smasher”.

Built in 1938, it contained a Van de Graaff generator capable of producing three million volts – enough to split an atom. It had barely been in operation for a year when it was discovered that the Nazis had successfully split the nucleus of uranium by bombarding it with neutrons, releasing energy. On January 28, 1939, the Carnegie team fired up the atom smasher to see if they could get the same result and succeeded. It was an important step toward the building of the atomic bomb. Advances in technology eventually rendered the atom smasher obsolete and it last ran in 1975. Now it is mainly used for storage.

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