Science for Kids Energy and Fusion 1

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Science for Kids
Energy and Fusion
1
Contents
Energy has many faces
2
Experiment: How to make an energy drink
Where does energy come from?
Experiment: How to produce energy
Atoms – Unknown and yet everywhere
Experiment: How to build your own model atom
Magnetism – A mysterious force
Experiment: How to build your own magnet
4
6
8
Electricity made using fusion power Experiment: How to fuse water droplets Check your findings All the explanations for your experiments
Glossary
10
12
13
Interested in science?
16
The “kidsbits” and Pallas-Athene projects17
Imprint
18
A
llow me to introduce myself?
My name is Solina. I‘m sure
my name, along with my round
body, have already given me
away: Yes, I am the sun, one of
many stars. I am over four billions years old and I like to ask
tricky questions. I know a lot
about energy because I produce
it myself in my hot tummy.
The scientists at the MaxPlanck-Institute for Plasma
Physics are trying to produce
energy in the same way as I do.
The Max-Planck-Institute for
Plasma Physics is a very complicated name, you can just say
“IPP” for short.
Energy is an extremely exciting
topic. I would like to tell you all
about it and about power plants
as well as about the smallest particles and atoms. And what fusion
is all about and … but wait! There
I go again: Sorry, my fault, I am
much too impatient!
If you‘re interested, this brochure contains a number of
experiments you can have a go at.
We‘ll have a lot of fun! I promise!
33
Energy has many faces
I am the most important source of
energy for all of you down on planet
earth! I may be 150 million
kilometres away from you,
but my rays put you in good
spirits, help plants to grow
and produce electricity in solar power
plants. I am multi-talented!
Experiment:
► Energy drink
What will you need?
• Beaker or jar with a screw lid
• 1/4 l milk
• 1 small banana
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Sugar, to taste
Plate and fork
How to make it?
Peel the banana, cut it in
pieces and use a fork to
mash it on a plate, add
lemon juice and milk. Then, pour the banana
mixture into a jar or a
4
beaker, close it tightly and shake
it vigorously. You could even
try singing your favourite song
whilst shaking!
The energy drink should look
pretty foamy. If it is not sweet
enough, add a little sugar and
shake it again.
Energy has many faces
W
hat is energy actually?
All day long you are
absorbing and consuming
energy in various different
ways. Energy is available in
many different forms: Drinking
a fruity, sweet banana shake will give you the energy your
body needs to play or to read.
Feeling hungry tells you that
you need to stock up on energy
again. It is not possible to live
without energy.
Energy does not vanish, it is just
converted into another form. For
example, the current that flows
into an electric bulb is converted
into light energy. But part of
this energy is used up because
the bulb is also heated, and
this cannot be made into light.
These conversion processes
have limits, the energy in petrol
Even today, not everybody in Africa and India has
electricity. Families in these countries need electric
light, a fridge or would like to watch TV. The number of
people on this planet is increasing steadily from year to year, and we
know that the energy requirements will also increase.
can be converted to make a car
move, but there is no way of
converting this kinetic energy
back into natural gas! It‘s actually quite simple, isn‘t it?
Give reasons why you
think sugar is so
important?
Take a look on page 12 to see what
other people have found out.
5
Where does energy come from?
Experiment
►
How to produce energy
What do you need?
• 1 balloon • Coloured tissue paper • Grains of rice
How do you do it?
Blow up the balloon and tie a
knot in it.
Tear the tissue paper into tiny
pieces and spread them all over
the table.
We need to look for new energy sources!
The Max-Planck-Institute for
Plasma Physics is setting a good
example and working on a new
energy source for your future.
Using me as their inspiration!
What did you
observe?
Rub the balloon against your
head or your clothes.
Hold the balloon over the pieces
of paper.
Test the experiment by rubbing
against different materials –
jumper, shirt, t-shirt – and watch
what happens!
6
Why do you think
this happens?
Where does energy come from?
H
Take a look on page 12 to see what
other people have found out.
ow does electricity get into
the socket? Electricity is
produced in power stations and
transported to the cities using
long power cables. It is then
distributed to the houses by
transformer stations and junction boxes. Next time you
go for a walk, see if you can
spot the junction boxes in your
street!
There are many ways of producing electricity and “loading” it
into the power supply network,
as power plant operators say.
More than half of the electricity
produced in Germany, for example, is created using coal and
natural gas. These high-energy
materials are burned and the
heat that is released is converted
into electricity.
It took millions of years to form
our uranium, coal, oil and natural gas resources. If we measure
this process against the length
of a human lifetime, it would
take too long to produce them
again – and this is why we call
them “non renewable” energy
sources.
Experts
are
arguing
about whether the
coal, oil and gas
resources will have
been consumed within 20, 50
or 100 years. But the actual moment
is not really that important. Scientists need to find new sources
of energy before the ones we use
today run out completely.
The renewable sources of
energy include: Biomass –
which is produced by using
plants that grow again quickly
– sun, wind and water. Sunlight
drives solar power plants, the
wind powers windmills and the
movement of water can also be
used to produce electricity.
A large amount of the additional
electricity required is produced
from uranium in nuclear power
plants.
7
Atoms – Unknown and yet everywhere
Experiment:
►
Building a
model atom
What do you need?
• 50 cm stiff wire • 1 piece modelling clay • 1 plate
• 1 fork or a stick
• 6 tablespoons of soap bubble
solution or mix 3 tablespoons of thick washing-up liquid with
3 tablespoons of water
8
You cannot see an individual
atom with the naked eye. These
tiny things I have in my
tummy could be used to
provide energy for the next five
billion years. And because I use
atom nuclei to produce energy we
call it “nuclear energy”.
What do you have to do?
Bend the wire and make a lasso
shape. The diameter of the lasso
should be smaller than the plate
you are using. Make a small ball using the
modelling clay. This will represent the “atomic nucleus”.
Pour the soap bubble solution
onto the plate and stir it with the
fork. Then place the “atomic nucleus”
in the middle of the plate.
Place the wire lasso around the
“atomic nucleus” and dip it into
the soap bubble solution, agitate
it and lift the wire. A soap bubble will appear over
the “atomic nucleus”.
Atoms – Unknown and yet everywhere
F
or a long period of time,
people believed that our
entire surroundings were made
of the elements earth, fire, water
and air. Nowadays, we know that tiny
building blocks known as
atoms, form everything that
is around us: The soil and the
stones, animals, plants and
human beings, planets and stars.
You can imagine an atom by
thinking of a peach: It has a
stone, a nucleus – the atomic
nucleus. And the peel represents
the surface on which the electrons move.
The sun is also made up of
atoms. Inside the sun, an
What can you see here?
Use your imagination!
incredible heat of 15 million
degrees can be found; that is
the number 15 plus six zeros! A
kitchen oven only manages 300
degrees! At that temperature, the atoms
in the sun take off their “peach
mantle” made of electrons.
When this happens, scientists
call it a “plasma”.
Atomic nuclei move very
quickly within a plasma and
in doing so, collide at random.
Sometimes they melt and create
a new and bigger nucleus.
During this melting process – or
fusion – an enormous amount
of energy is released. This is the
way the sun has been producing energy for 4.5 billion years.
Atoms consist,
above all, of a lot
of emptiness. If an atom
nucleus were the size of a tennis
ball, the electrons would be moving
about two kilometres away! And in-between the two – there is
nothing!
IPP wants to imitate the sun and
produce energy using certain
atoms. A sun power plant on
earth!
A hydrogen atom
Take a look on page 12
to see what other people
have found out.
9
Magnetism – A mysterious force
Experiment:
►
How to make
a magnet
What do you need?
• 1.5 Volt battery • 1 metre of copper wire, about
1 mm in diameter • 1 steel nail, about 10 centimetres long and 2 mm thick • Sandpaper • A few paper clips or drawing pins.
Imagine a life belt made of
invisible magnetic field lines.
The hot atomic nuclei and
electrons move inside this
life belt and cannot escape!
What do you do?
Wind the wire tightly and
evenly around the nail 60 or 70
times, leaving a 10 cm length of
wire free at both ends.
Rub the ends of the wire with
the sandpaper until roughly 1 cm is shiny all round.
Touch the two polished ends
to the „poles“ of the battery
and allow the current to flow
through the coil. Now dip the
end of the nail into the paper
clips or pins.
Important:
Never do any experiments
using electricity from the wall socket!
Use batteries with low voltage only – up
to about 4.5 Volts.
10
Magnetism – A mysterious force
M
What did you
see?
Why do you think
this happens?
Take a look at page 12 and see what other people have
discovered.
A high pressure is found on the
sun and it would be difficult to
recreate that pressure on earth
to carry out experiments. This
agnetic forces are mysterious. You cannot feel,
hear, smell, or taste them, nor
can you see them directly. You
can, however, make their effects
visible using iron filings. Within
a magnetic field iron filings line
up in so-called magnetic field
lines.
A magnet always has two ends,
the north and the south pole, and
the magnetic field lines radiate
from these. Metals such as iron,
cobalt or nickel have magnetic
properties and can be made into
permanent magnets.
Magnetism can also be produced using electricity. The most
important component of an electromagnet is a coil. It basically
consists of a solid centre with
a metal wire wrapped around
it. Connecting both ends of the
wire to a battery allows electric
current to flow through the wire and produce a
magnetic field.
For its ASDEX Upgrade
fusion experiment, IPP needs 16
coils weighing as much as 112
cars! The coils are arranged in
such a way that the magnetic
field lines build a closed, ringlike cage. It is not just filings that line
themselves up in a magnetic
field. Atom nuclei and electrons
within plasma do the same. This
is simply a law of nature!
is why physicists have come up
with a very clever idea. They use
magnetic forces to help create a
solar power plant on earth.
11
Fusion power – How does it work?
Experiment:
►
Fusing
water droplets
I think there will be fusion power
plants one day. How old will you
be in 2050?
What do you need?
• A CD cover or a CD
that is no longer needed • A pump spray bottle to be
filled with water
• Pencil or tooth pick
How do you do it?
Pour a little water into the pump
spray bottle.
Put the CD, with the shiny side
facing up, onto a waterproof
surface and spray some water
on it.
What did you see?
Hold the CD at an angle, dip the
tip of your pencil into one of the
droplets and pull it across the
CD surface to the next droplet.
Continue to the next drop, and
the next …
Take a look at page 12 to see what other
people have discovered.
12
Fusion power – How does it work?
T
his is how physicists
imagine a fusion power
plant: Electromagnets are lined
up in a vessel and are switched
on. The magnetic field cage
forms inside the vessel. The
vessel is filled with atoms which
are heated to hundred millions
degrees: A plasma is generated. The atom nuclei and electrons
now move very quickly, they
Plasma in the ASDEX Upgrade device
land succeeded in producing
fusion power – what a great
achievement! But for a real power plant, the
amount of energy won must be
higher. This is why researchers
across the world are working
on lots of experiments in order
to find out more about atoms,
plasma and fusion. Electromagnets
Plasma
Wendelstein 7-X
collide, some nuclei fuse and
produce thermal energy which
is converted into electricity. Fusion power is amazing! The
energy content of a single gram
of fusion fuel is the same as an
entire freight waggon full of
coal! The JET experiment belonging
to a research institute in Eng-
Physicists at IPP are working on
their ASDEX Upgrade experiment and currently building
a new one in Greifswald, the
Wendelstein 7-X. By 2050 we should have learned
enough from these experiments
to help us to build a power plant
capable of using fusion energy
to provide big cities with power.
They have already started work
on ITER, the world‘s largest
fusion experiment, in the South
of France. Can you find the little
man on this picture? Look how
small he is compared to the
machine itself! Now, you can
imagine how big a fusion power
plant will need to be.
13
Check your findings
Here you will find explanations for your experiments
Page 2
Energy drink
Why is sugar important?
Further experiments
Try rubbing a plastic ruler or an
The sugar you added, along with empty, dry plastic bottle instead
of a balloon.
the banana fructose, quickly
provides your body with new
energy so that you will feel alert
Page 6
and strong enough to carry out
Building a model atom
the next experiments.
What did you see?
Use your imagination!
Page 4
Producing energy
What did you notice?
An invisible force allows the
balloon to attract the pieces of
tissue paper and the grains of
rice. If the weather is particularly dry, you may even
see the grains of rice dance!
Why does this happen?
You rubbed electrons away from
the outer shells of the atoms.
This creates a charge separation and the balloon attracts the
shreds of paper as a result. The
harder or longer you rub, the
better the paper sticks to the balloon and the grains of rice dance
for you!
14
The soap bubble is a half-sphere
shape gleaming over your handmade “atom nucleus”. Squint
your eyes and imagine how the
electron “rushes” over the surface of the ball.
Page 8
Building a magnet
What did you see?
The paper clips or drawing pins
are attracted as long as the current flows. Cut off electricity
and the effect decreases.
Why does this happen?
The coiled wire allows electricity to flow and creates a
magnetic field within the nail.
The more the wire is coiled,
the stronger the magnetic field
becomes.
Page 10
Fusion of water drops
What did you see?
The round drops fuse to create
a larger drop. You can no longer
identify the two original drops,
or however many drops you
started with.
Further experiments …
“Oil drop” fusion: Oil drops
found on the surface of a soup
or in a salad dressing can be
fused by using a spoon to connect them.
Definitions – in a nutshell
Atom and
Atom nucleus
Everything around us – plants and animals, stones, planets,
sand, people – consist of tiny elements known as atoms. An
atom is made of a nucleus and one, or many electrons.
Electromagnets
We can produce magnetism with electricity. A coil plays the
most important part of an electromagnet. A basic coil consists
of a body and a metal wire which is coiled around it. If both
ends of the wire are then connected to a battery, the current
flows through the wire and creates a magnetic field. Electrons
Very tiny particles called electrons circle around the atom
nuclei. A similar pattern, although much larger, can be seen in
the universe: the planets circling around the sun.
Energy
There are many forms of energy. Your body takes its energy
from the food you eat and transforms it into movement and
warmth. Energy does not just disappear, but is transformed
into something else. For example, electricity flowing through
a bulb is converted into light energy and heat.
(Non) renewable
energy
Experiment
Sun, wind and water cannot be used up. Biomass can be produced quickly. This is why these are referred to as renewable energy sources. Gas, coal and oil reserves which
are formed over the course of millions of years are non-
renewable energy sources and are also called “fossil fuels”.
Latin experimentum “trial, proof, checking, test”. Whenever
you are testing something in order to find out how it works,
you are conducting an experiment.
15
Definitions – in a nutshell
Fusion
IPP
IPP is actually the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics
and is working on plasma physics and fusion research.
ITER
The largest international fusion experiment in the world,
ITER, is currently being built in the South of France.
Nuclear energy
We talk about “nuclear energy” when we refer to energy that
originates from the fission or fusion of atom nuclei.
Power plant
In a power plant, substances like coal are burned in order to
generate heat and electricity.
Magnet, Magnetic field, Magnetic field lines
A thing that attracts or repels something is called a magnet.
Magnetic forces can be found in nature. All forms of magnetism come from electric charges. Magnetic forces are
to be found along so-called magnetic field lines when fine
iron filings line up in magnetic fields.
Million and Billion 16
An enormous amount of energy is released when atom nuclei
melt, this process is called fusion. This is how the sun has been
producing energy for 4.5 billion of years.
One million, as a number, is a 1 with 6 zeros behind it, so it is
written 1,000,000. A billion is thousand times more, so it is a
1 with nine zeros: 1,000,000,000.
Definitions – in a nutshell
Plasma and Plasma physics
Plasma is a gaseous medium. Atom nuclei and electrons
move separately. You can see plasma in nature, as a bolt of
lightning, at home in a fluorescent light tube or in energysaving light bulbs. Plasma physics investigates the behaviour
of that gas.
Solar collectors
Solar collectors use sunlight to produce electricity and
warmth.
Sun
As an energy supplier, the sun is very important for the earth.
It is the sun which makes it possible for the planet to have
a weather system and a climate. And without the sun there
would be no life. A lot of energy is required to do all this and
this energy is produced inside the sun by nuclear fusion.
Transformer station
and Junction box
They are part of power plants and ensure the „distribution“ of
electricity in the cities, to homes and to the power socket.
… work in many fields, for example in biology, history,
medical science, astronomy (science of the stars), or physics.
Physicists analyse natural activities and laws.
Scientists
17
Interested in science?
For parents and teachers
A
18
re your children
interested in science? The
Max Planck Institute’s (IPP)
“kidsbits” is a regional project offering “Living Science” for children of different ages. Many ageappropriate activities, such
as “The Flying Lab”, or “The
Science Show”, are designed
especially for children aged 3
to 13.
All of the programs have one
thing in common, they make a
point of getting the children to
join in and ask questions.
From January to July, experienced colleagues from
our institute are available to
visit nursery schools, preschools and primary schools.
You will need to set aside
about two hours for the activity session. This will involve
talking to the children and carrying out experiments
which will give them an exciting and interesting insight
into fusion research. You can find more information regarding feedback on our school visits
under www.schule.kidsbits.info
If you would like to register your class or a group
of children, please take a
look at www.kontakt.kidsbits.info
to find out all you need to
know. Above web sites are
only available in German
and visits to the IPP are conducted in German too.
The “kidsbits” and Pallas Athene projects
T
he Max Planck Institute for
Plasma Physics consider
the financial support awarded
to the “kidsbits” project as of
2005 by Pallas Athene, an European project “Ambassadors for
Women and Science”, to be a
recognition of their activities in
promoting young scientists. This
money has also made it possible
to produce the very brochure
you are reading now.
You can find further information about the “Pallas Athene”
project under: www.pallas.kidsbits.info
Thank you very much to all of
the small and large scientists
for their tireless proofreading
efforts, their suggestions and
patient photo sessions!
Come and visit IPP –
at Garching or Greifswald:
We invite all interested adults, as
individuals or groups, to come
and visit our institute. Fusion
research will be introduced in a
comprehensible way and you
will be able to find out about the
achievements and possibilities.
Visit Garching and Greifswald
to discover what fusion experiments are all about!
Contact persons:
Your contact person in
Garching:
Christina Stahlberg
Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik
Boltzmannstraße 2
85748 Garching
Your contact person in
Greifswald
Antje Lorenz
Phone:
+49 (0)89 32 99-22 32
IPP-Teilinstitut Greifswald
Wendelsteinstraße 1
17491 Greifswald Phone:
+49 (0)38 34 88-26 14
Fax: +49 (0)89 32 99-26 22
Fax:
+49 (0) 38 34 88-20 09
http://www.ipp.mpg.de/eng/index.html http://www.ipp.mpg.de/ippcms/eng/kontakt/besucherservice/index.html
19
Imprint
This brochure was designed
and created with the financial
support of the European project
“Pallas Athene”.
Editor:
Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP) Boltzmannstraße 2 85748 Garching bei München
Illustrations:
Page 3 Alexandra, age 10
Page 4 Gabriel, age 9
Page 5 Ricarda, age 10
Page 8 Alexandra, age 10
Page 9 Hannah, age 7
Photos: IPP
Concept and editorial work:
Dr. Petra Nieckchen
Iris Eckl
Ute Schneider-Maxon
Layout and illustration:
Swantje Schmidt, Germering
English text version:
Aline Dürmaier
(European Fusion Development
Agreement (EFDA))
ISBN 978-3-00-027132-8

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