Play Helios: A Game About How the Sun Makes Energy!

In this pairing game, keep the Sun shining bright by matching up particles. The goal? To convert hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. This process is called nuclear fusion.

The Sun is a major source of energy for us on Earth. Where does this energy come from? It comes from a process called fusion. One type of fusion happens when the Sun combines, or fuses together, tiny particles called protons and neutrons. A hydrogen atom usually has one proton and one neutron.

When several of these particles combine in just the right way, hydrogren is converted into helium, the same stuff you might use to fill up a birthday balloon! When the Sun makes helium, it also releases energy. Fusion is what makes the Sun burn so hot for so long.

In this game you'll combine protons and neutrons to create this type of nuclear fusion. Make some helium, create some energy, and keep the Sun shining bright!

How to play:

this diagram shows the mechanism of fusion: two protons combine and form a proton and neutron. That then combines with another proton. When two of those then combine, fusion occurs.

Combine, swap, and complete reactions for points!

  • Combine particles that are across from one another on the game board. Drag the particles across the board to make reactions happen.

  • The order matters: not all particles will combine. You have to match the right particles to keep the reaction going. Need a clue about where to drag your particle? Look for the glow when you are dragging particles or the step by step process in the bottom right of the game screen!

  • If you want to combine particles that aren't across from each other, swap a particle's position with its neighbor. Continue this swapping until the two particles you want to combine are across from one another.

  • After the first combination of two hydrogen atoms, you'll make a molecule called helium-3. Once you combine two helium-3 molecules, you create a helium-4 molecule and two hydrogen atoms. This completes the reaction and earns 1 point.

  • Complete as many reactions as you can within the time limit!

Let's get fusing!

article last updated July 18, 2022
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