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300 Mouse Traps + 600 Ping Pong Balls = Nuclear Chain Reaction

A group of chemistry students at Horizon Science Academy in Cleveland were given an assignment to show how fission of Uranium-235 causes a chain reaction. It’s pretty easy to illustrate the nuclear chain reaction with a drawing. But that’s too boring.

The students tried to show the process with green and yellow Skittles. It made the point, but they wanted something bigger. So, 300 mouse traps and 600 ping pong balls later, the students threw one lone ping pong ball in… and, well, just watch.

The students hope to make it on a bigger scale. A Touchstone Energy Cooperatives commercial used 6000 mousetraps and 8000 ping pong balls.

Hopefully the students can beat that one.




About Silvia Pikal

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  1. Very cool and a great analogy on how things work.

  2. That’s why it’s great that New Zealand is a Nuclear free country.

  3. This must have took quite some time to create.

  4. I believe Disney did much the same thing back in the 50’s or early 60’s with their short “Our Friend the Atom.”

  5. Awesome video guys!!!! It really put things in perspective!

  6. The girl with the Gir shirt is awesome

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