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You Can Do It
A soda to demostrate fusion
||Fusion, meterology, energy, Magnus effect
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- The returning can
This can comes back if you roll it away… It’s not magic, it’s more: physics!
- 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.
- The simplest air table
It is made of a boxy bottle, and driven by a hairdryer. Frictionless movement can be shown on it.
- 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!
Last update: 17 July 2007
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