Binding blocks: Building the Universe one nucleus at a time

C. Aa Diget, A. Pastore, K. Leech, T. Haylett, S. Lock, T. Sanders, M. Shelley, H. V. Willett, J. Keegans, L. Sinclair, E. C. Simpson, The Binding Blocks Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a new teaching and outreach activity based around the construction of a three-dimensional chart of isotopes using LEGO® bricks5. The activity, binding blocks, demonstrates nuclear and astrophysical processes through a seven-meter chart of all nuclear isotopes, built from over 26 000 LEGO® bricks. It integrates A-Level and GCSE curricula across areas of nuclear physics, astrophysics, and chemistry, including: nuclear decays (through the colours in the chart); nuclear binding energy (through tower heights); production of chemical elements in the cosmos; fusion processes in stars and fusion energy on Earth; as well as links to medical physics, particularly diagnostics and radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024001
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017

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