Module 1-Chapter 1: Pre-Viewing Brainbuilder

What is a “double-edged sword”?

In this module, we’ll learn about particles, isotopes, and atoms, and the double-edged sword of radiation.

This expression is an English idiom and is used as a metaphor for something that cuts both ways.

It means that something can be both helpful and harmful. For example, someone could use an argument that could both help them and harm them. Something that is a double-edged sword has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences.

“Freedom of expression … can be a double-edged sword.” — Linda Connors.

“The increasing integration of India with the global economy poses a challenge and opportunity for the country as globalisation is a double-edged sword.”— Reserve Bank of India governor D. Subbarao

“Facebook and other social-networking tools are a double-edged.”  — Kate Dailey, Newsweek

Think Ahead: What is the double-edged sword of radiation?

Chapter 1: We are all made of starstuff!

Play the Periodic Table Challenge Match!

Find out what do you already know about the Periodic Table of Elements. Play Alone or with a Friend. Click the Table to begin.

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Vocabulary for Chapter 1

Fission & Fusion

Think about the differences between fission and fusion. On a piece of paper, make two columns, one titled “Fission” and one titled “Fusion.” Brainstorm as many different features or characteristics of each that you can think of and write them in the columns.

Then test your brain: Fusion vs Fission 

Where do elements come from? Watch the video on the collapse of a star.

At the end of the video, you should be able to answer these questions:

  1. What are the three stages of a dying star?
  2. What elements are associated with each stage?
  3. What is the role of gravity, heat, and energy at each stage?
  4. How is the process is finally stopped?