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Educational Interactive Movies/Games

Note: The contents on the following pages require a Macromedia Flash Player. Please go to the " Flash Player Tune Up" page if you have problems to view those movies.


Introduction to Nuclear Astrophysics: Nuclear Physics

Have you ever wondered what powers our sun and the other stars in the sky? Have you ever been interested in how archaeologists are able to accurately determine the age of newly discovered artifacts? Have you ever been fascinated by the technology that can take images of broken bones? Have you ever been interested in learning about the origins of our solar systems?
All of these wide-ranging phenomena are connected through nuclear physics. The physics that occurs in the center (nucleus) of an individual atom. In this presentation we will discuss atoms, nuclei, other particles, and how their interactions help create the world in which we live.



Introduction to Nuclear Astrophysics: Astronomy

Stars, with their high temperature and density are ready-made laboratories in space. By studying stars, scientists can gain a lot of information that would not be available from ground-based experiments. Helium was discovered in the sun almost thirty years before it was isolated on Earth. In this presentation we will discuss the basics of astronomy.



Introduction to Nuclear Astrophysics: Astrophysics

Why does the sun shine? Where does the energy come from the sun (and other stars) come from? How can it keep producing enough sunlight to keep illuminating the Earth day after day for millions of years? In this movie we will discuss the physics of the stars themselves and how they evolve over time.



Nucleosynthesis in the Big Bang

About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the Universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. This interactive module illustrates what happened in the first 3 minutes and 45 seconds of the universe, a period often called "the first 3 minutes". In this period, the primary nucleosynthesis of the lightest elements took place. By viewing the animations and playing with the interactive game, you can learn how these elements, in particular hydrogen and helium, were created in the Big Bang. Quizzes are provided at the end.



Nucleosynthesis in the Sun  (low mass main sequence star)

Stars like our Sun are born from interstellar clouds which slowly contract under the influence of their own gravity. The gravitational contraction causes temperature and density in the clouds to increase until they reach values sufficient to trigger nuclear fusion reaction between the hydrogen nuclei. The animation in this module illustrates how a star was born. By playing with the interactive game, you can learn about the PP-chain fusion reactions by which stars convert hydrogen to helium. Quizzes are available at the end.



Nucleosynthesis in Sirius  (massive main sequence star)

How nucleosythesis takes place in massive stars? This module gives you an introduction with Sirius as an example. By playing with the interactive game, you can get an idea about a sequence of reactions occurring in the CNO cycle. This is a process of converting hydrogen to helium, which starts from carbon-12 and proceeds according to the six steps. Nitrogen and oxygen nuclei are created as intermediate products. Quizzes are also included at the end.



Red Giant Nucleosynthesis

You have learned about how stars live most of their lives on the main sequence. As they exhaust their hydrogen fuel, they move away from the main sequence and become red giants. How are red giant stars formed? And how do they generate their energy?


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