Los Alamos National LaboratoryBradbury Science Museum
Your Window into Los Alamos National Laboratory
Bradbury Science Museum

Like a hand in a glove…in a glovebox

Replacement parts can get expensive.
January 10, 2018
Child working in our glovebox.

Pictured above is nine-year-old Evan, son of the Museum's collections specialist. Many people like to experiment what it's like to work in a glovebox.

Given that the gloves normally cost about $250 a pair, we are very grateful for the donation.

Due to the nature of some of the work done at the Laboratory, it can be necessary for workers to use enclosed chambers known as gloveboxes. Such containment efforts are necessary to isolate hazardous or radioactive materials from the workers, to maintain the purity of the material being manipulated, or even when the materials need a special environment such as in an argon gas atmosphere or a vacuum.

Last year we installed a glovebox in our Museum with some beads and other Lab-type equipment to give visitors a chance to see what it’s like to manipulate items remotely.

Due to the wear and tear items get here—we have more than 80,000 visitors a year—we needed to ensure we had a steady supply of gloves for when the current pair wear out. Enter one of our newest Scientist Ambassadors, Steve Schreiber, a division leader with the Lab’s Nuclear Process Infrastructure organization.

Steve’s folks located some gloves similar to those in actual use at the Lab but were not suitable for use with nuclear materials (due to quality control issues). Given that the gloves normally cost about $250 a pair, we are very grateful for the donation.

Next time you are here, feel free to challenge yourself to work inside our glovebox.

If you would like to meet our benefactor in person, Steve will be at the Museum this Saturday (January 13) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stop by and let him dazzle you with his science and you can thank him for assisting us.