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Three ways to fuse particles in your free time

Although nuclear fusion is usually serious business, there should still be room for some entertainment once in a while. Check out these three fusion related games to keep you busy during the summer period!

Operation Tokamak

The energy shortage of the 21st century has been overcome. The solution: fusion energy. It’s widespread use gives us clean, cheap and safe energy. Fuel is heated to its plasma state at 200 million degrees at which it fuses and releases vast amounts of energy powerful magnets hold the plasma inside the power plant…

You are the operator of a typical fusion power plant in 2103 as operator you must drive the machine to its ideal fusion conditions.

As operator you control are able to control the following parameters:

  • Strong magnets to cage the plasma in the steel vessel 
  • A powerful microwave heating system to control the fusion power 
  • A microwave beam to blast magnetic islands to pieces

A temperature- and “confinement” diagnostics are at your disposal to indicate the state of the fusion plasma.

As operator of the tokamak it is your mission to stabilize and sustain the fusion plasma for as long as possible and order to produce a maximal fusion power output. Optimization of (energy) confinement of the plasma is a key aspect of the. The instable nature of the tokamak plasma is already demonstrated early-game and gets increasingly erratic as time goes by.

You will quickly experience typical challenges encountered by professional tokamak operators on a day to day basis. For instance, the formation of magnetic islands must be suppressed to prevent serious micro-instabilities in the plasma by use of the 'microwave cannon'.

The fun doesn’t stop here. An online leaderboard has been created to keep track of the skills of aspiring tokamak operators and introduce an element of competition. A range of stats are kept track of, including operation time, inflicted damage to the reactor walls, total energy produced and the amount of savings in C02 emissions. 

So what are you waiting for? Give Operation Tokamak a try!

Iphone AppAndroid App

Atomic Fusion – Particle Collider

Venture through quantum space-time and fuse your way up the periodic table! Manipulate matter, antimatter, plasma waves and photons. According to the developers this retro- inspired arcade game is targeted especially towards physics who have the ambition to fuse particles. However, the main skills required are dexterity and reaction speed, so others might also give this fun game a try!

The main element of the game is to absorb radially expanding waves of positive and negative energy with your atom in order to reach the required fusion threshold energy. Fast switching between a matter- and antimatter state of your atom is required to let the positive and negative waves add up. Absorbing the wrong type of energy in the matter state causes rapid depletion of your energy level. The various power-ups that can be collected throughout the game are essential to increase the chance of a successful fusion reaction.

In some way the fusion reaction is very reminiscent to the real deal in fusion energy. As waves of positive and negative energy approach with continuously increasing speed and frequency it quickly becomes apparent that fusion reactions are indeed very hard to achieve by hand. The scientist engineers working on ITER also don’t get off easy!

Atomic fusion is a game available for android and iPhone.

Iphone AppAndroid App

Fe[26] 

Take a successful concept in recent casual gaming and add a sauce of fusion goodness. What you get is a game called Fe[26]: Fuse your way to the Iron tile! The game is reminiscent of the fusion scheme of our sun and is derived from the very popular game concept of “2048” where you merge blocks of identical numbers into a new block of double the initial value. Fe[26] swaps the numbers for elements off the periodic table and imposes new rules for valid merges (or in this case fusion reactions).

The game starts with a hydrogen atom. The player can direct “gravity” to a specific side of the playing field using the arrow keys. Each manipulation causes the blocks to fall and rearrange themselves according to the new situation and a new low- number block to spawn on a random free position. Two blocks that are fusible according to their element marking will merge to form a new element. A fun addition to the game is the introduction of instable elements: blocks that only survive for a certain amount of manipulations decay to a lighter element.

The goal is to create an Iron element block, the heaviest fusion product that can be formed by exothermic reaction, without filling up the entire playing field in the process.

The game strikes a good balance between easy early-game playability with a lot of low-mass fusion opportunities and a rapid increase in difficulty once the larger elements are in the playing field. Without careful planning the field quickly becomes clogged with low-Z elements!

Although some laws of nature have been bent to accommodate the playability of the game, it still is a great way to walk your way through the proton-proton chain all the way up to Iron and challenge fellow fusion-minded colleagues to beat your high score!

Try the game for free at http://dimit.me/Fe26/ (browser-based)