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A soda to demostrate fusion
You Can Do It
Subject Fusion, meterology, energy, Magnus effect
Level Upper secondary
Language English
Type Experiments

Many phenomena can be shown with difficult experimental apparatus. But children sometimes cannot understand how the apparatus works, so they can not understand the phenomena. That is why I will present a series of experiments that can be carried out with readily available household items.
  1. The Leydenfrost phenomenon and thermonuclear fusion
    The first phenomenon can be shown with a cut-off soda can bottom. If it is heated, water drops cannot evaporate from the surface. We can simulate fusion with water drops; if we make the soda can bottom into a special shape: a little hill in the centre and a little pit on the top of the hill, the hill plays the role of the Coulomb potential, with a water drop on the top of it.
  2. Another way to show thermonuclear fusion
    If we place a strong magnet under a plastic sheet, and another above it in the same direction, from a distance they repel each other, but if they are close enough, there is pull between them – just like between nuclei.
  3. Modelling a meteoric front
    In a boxy, transparent bottle, cold and warm water represents cold and warm air. If we let the cold water go, it scrambles under the warm water, just like a cold front. Amazing, how it goes, like a snake…
  4. The returning can
    This can comes back if you roll it away… It’s not magic, it’s more: physics!
  5. Cayley’s helicopter
    This helicopter model was made by Sir George Cayley, one of the world’s first aviators. It is very simple and made of wooden sticks, rubber and paper.
  6. The simplest air table
    It is made of a boxy bottle, and driven by a hairdryer. Frictionless movement can be shown on it.
  7. Cloud in a bottle
    This experiment shows how clouds are born. If air expands, it becomes cold, and vapor becomes visible – that’s a cloud. And it happens in a simple plastic bottle!
Contact details
NameZoltan Köllö
Last update: 17 July 2007

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