Fusion Model

Purpose

To indicate how nuclei attract each other if they come close enough together.

Equipment

Two small horseshoe magnets.

Images

e2-12

Description

Let the magnets snap together as you discuss how they do work and in the process become slightly less massive, as in E=mc^2. Then discuss the analogy to protons combining to form deuterium and then helium while releasing energy.

References

E. Kashy and D. A. Johnson, A model to illustrate forces in nuclear fusion, AJP 62, 804-806 (1994). Lawrence Ruby, Letter: Fusion Simulator, AJP 63, 107 (1995).