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Fission activity at GCSE level

  1. Apr 13, 2008 #1
    Dear All
    I am trying to do some Nuclear Fission based activity for my 12th grade students at school level. I shall be grateful if some one suggests such a low cast activity to perform at laboratory.
    Kind Regards
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2008 #2
    Large metal atoms radioactively decay by alfa, beta and gama radiation into smaller atoms. If you get from you teacher some radioactive metal (it must have very low acitivity so that it doesn't kill you) and you can detect gama particles using Geiger counter (GM counter) and LabPro program. You can connect the GM counter with computer and LabPro program shows you how many gama rays GM counter has registered over a certain period of time.

    If you need further instructions email me.

    P.S.: I don't supply Uranium 238 or any kind of Polonium, and, of course, no other potenctial means for producing the weapons of mass destruction.
  4. Apr 15, 2008 #3


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    I'm not sure where one is, but in the US, fissile material is considered special nuclear material and requires a special license for individuals and institutions in order to maintain and control such material. I do not see how a high school student will have access to fissile material. There are also similar requirements for handling non-fissile radionuclides as well. I am not aware of any high school that has a license for nuclear material.
  5. Apr 15, 2008 #4
    Thanks cigster and Astronuc for reply,
    But I think I remained unable to convey what I want to say. I do not want to perform in real sense fission or fusion activity in classroom. I want to perform only supposed activity, which resembles like fission process.

  6. Apr 15, 2008 #5
    How about getting a bunch of ping pong balls. Using some glue that is easily removable, lightly (i.e., don't use a lot) glue all the balls except one into a large mass. Then throw the remaining ball at the mass from a distance. You may have to try it several times (throwing the ball harder each time). When the ball breaks apart the mass, that's fission, the fragments are the fission fragments, each with its own energy (governed by conservation laws), and the noise heard is the unrecoverable energy in any fission event (from neutrinos, etc.)
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