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Main sequence stars – Astronomy

By |2018-05-31T11:49:32+00:00August 18th, 2017|Physics|

Main sequence stars: A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy (thanks to Bernd Nies) What is a main sequence star? Nine out of ten stars that you see in the sky are main-sequence stars, and our sun is one of them. (More about the sun) Most main-sequence stars probably started out as brown dwarfs, and then succeeded [...]

Nuclear physics – fission and fusion

By |2018-04-24T11:58:42+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Atomic bomb explosions make a "mushroom cloud" - this is a fission reaction Nuclear physics is the process of getting energy from the nucleus of an atom. There are two ways to release energy from atoms: fission and fusion. Fusion happens all the time in nature, mostly inside stars because fusion needs lots of heat or gravity to get it going. Fusion works with the [...]

Nuclear fusion – Simple Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:26+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

The Sun shining from space Fusion reactions are how the first stars got started. Soon after the Big Bang, hydrogen atoms began bumping into each other and merging into one bigger heliumatom. Four atoms with four nuclei - centers - mixed together into one atom with a bigger nucleus. But each time this happened there was a bit of energy left [...]

Nuclear fusion project – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:26+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Build your own model of a fusion reaction: start with a regular red lego (a proton). Wrap a rubberband around it to be the strong nuclear force. Then connect a small blue lego (an electron) to the red lego to make a hydrogen atom. Make four of these hydrogen atoms. Now imagine that your hydrogen atoms are being heated up [...]