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3
votes
1answer
79 views

Why did they start Wendelstein 7-X With Helium?

Just saw the first Hydrogen plasma at the Wendelstein reactor. I haven't found anywhere that gives a good explanation as to why they first used a Helium plasma - can anyone shed any light?
1
vote
1answer
19 views

So how much fuel does a hypothetical fusion plant need?

Reading about potential fusion plants it's easy to get the impression that we have nearly infinite access to the fuels required. But looking aside form how much we have available, I am interested in ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Speed of fusion reactions compared to fission reactions?

How do the reaction rates of fusion and fission reactions compare? Is one faster than the other? What effect does this have on nuclear weapon designs?
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Can a spheromak propagate in vacuum?

I recently learned about (and am now fascinated by) spheromaks. I am no expert on plasma physics, but as I understand they are analogous to propagating toroidal vortices (smoke rings), but with plasma ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

Why is a stellarator-type nuclear fusion reactor so oddly-shaped?

My first impression: It's a mess. Why is it shaped like that? I can't find any info about its shape other than it's a special arrangement of magnetic coils. (link) Here's some more images of it on ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Is there a difference in the energy output of a nuclear fission reaction as opposed to fusion?

For example, if I split a Helium atom will I get the same amount of energy as when I fuse Hydrogen into Helium? If there is a difference, what will be the difference (in general not according to ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

How much iron would result of fusing a human body?

While discussing nonsense plots, a friend and I ran into the question of what would happen to a human enclosed perfectly with an enormous amount of energy, Antimatter or fusion level energy. It was a ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

How is the interaction radius of fusion reactants determined?

To calculate the Coulomb barrier between two fusion reactants, the interaction radius (also called the fusion radius), r, must be known. How do I find the interaction radii of different nuclei?
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Difference between fusion plasma and fluorescent lamp plasmas

How is the plasma in a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) different from a plasma in say ITER or the sun? Why does ITER need 100MK and a CFL can work at practically room temperature (apart from the ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Is it possible for oxygen in the ocean to undergo nuclear fusion?

Could the oxygen in the ocean undergo oxygen burning (uncontrolled self-sustained fusion) if struck by a very large meteor or exposed to a similarly devastating cosmic catastrophe? Is it possible for ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Is neutron-neutron fusion viable?

Do I get unusual baryon maybe like pentaquark or just a pair of conjoined twin that is very unstable?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can the High beta fusion reactor work?

Are the claims made about the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_beta_fusion_reactor realistic? Can such a small fusion reactor really work?
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Temperature of fusion in the Sun vs. fusion in controlled experiments on Earth

I recently learned that hydrogen fusion (i.e., hydrogen to helium) experiments on Earth have been successful at temperatures in excess of 100,000,000 degrees Celsius. However, I also learned that ...
5
votes
2answers
549 views

How much faster is the fusion we make on earth compared to the fusion that happens in the sun?

I have come across many websites that states that the proton-proton fusion which is the dominant type of fusion that powers the suns, is extremely slow and that is why the sun is still burning to that ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Fusing Hydrogen with lightning

I've been reading about fusion recently (Specifically Deuterium fusion) and a friend of mine asked me if it was possible to fuse two Deuterium atoms with a lightning strike? Now this question has a ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Why do people say nuclear fusion is 50 years away? [closed]

This '50 years' number is floating around media pretty consistently, even the ITER road map claims that the first commercial reactor will happen post-2050. But why is that? I understand that there is ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Fusion reactors why does size matter?

I've been following articles about fusion recently, and with the ITER project mostly. I have noticed that their view point is they need to build a large scale reactor in order to achieve their goals. ...
-1
votes
2answers
280 views

What is the theoretical wattage output of a Tokamak fusion reactor?

By that I mean the complete radiative wattage of any type of energetic radioactivity or electromagnetic wave or even particle if that's what they output. My purpose is to compare this to the suns ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

In nuclear fusion reaction, what is the percentage of mass converted to energy?

I read somewhere that it is about one percent of the mass, but I find this too high. Also I have done some calculations, for example, the Tsar Bomba was 50 MT bomb and weighed about 27 tons. Although ...
1
vote
1answer
183 views

Could atmospheric muons be used to catalyze nuclear fusion?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion I read above that some work as been done investigating whether muons could be used to catalyze fusion of deuterium and tritium. Apparently they can ...
2
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0answers
52 views

Usage of rare earth barium copper oxide (ReBCo) superconductors (for fusion reactors)

Recently, scientist from MIT have proposed a new design for a compact fusion reactor, see for example this ArXiV paper. I do not want to discuss the physics of their reactor but am more interested in ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Could anyone explain to me how the products of nuclear fusion/fission are predicted? [duplicate]

I have an idea of how quantum mechanics work, but I know too little to understand which products are a result of certain reactions like bombarding a certain atom with neutrons or just by natural ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

Why does the core of a low mass star contract after reaching electron degeneracy?

I am learning about the lives and deaths of stars with a solar mass of 0.4-2. What I understand is that once the star stops hydrogen fusion after using up all its hydrogen, the star leaves the main ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Why can't electrostatically accelerated deuterium beams neutralized by electrons produce net energy fusion? [duplicate]

I was looking through the various nuclear fusion approaches and it struck me that they all suffered from one of two problems. Either they wasted a lot of energy trying to accelerate fusion fuel to the ...
5
votes
1answer
802 views

Reason why stars do not produce elements heavier than iron

In his book "Origins", Neil deGrasse Tyson says that "if you seek to split iron nuclei apart, you must them with additional energy. On the other hand, if you combine iron atoms they will also absorb ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can't Iron fusion occur in stars?

It is said that iron fusion is endothermic and star can't sustain this kind of fusion (not until it goes supernova). However star is constantly releasing energy from fusion of elements like Hydrogen ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

How can we produce gasoline with nuclear fusion and without fossil fuels? [closed]

If all fossil fuels were suddenly to run out tomorrow, but we also were to discover an easy way to produce energy from nuclear fusion, how might we produce gasoline? Could we do it in a way that is ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Origin of elements heavier than Iron (Fe)

In all the discussions about how the heavy elements in the universe are forged in the guts of stars and especially during a stars death, I usually hear that once the star begins fusing lighter atoms ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

How can the magnetic field of a tokamak or stellatron hold against the outwards plasma pressure?

I understand that magnetic containment structures like tokamaks generate a toroidal magnetic field in which the plasma particles move in helices around the field lines, because of the Lorentz force. A ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Help identifying a Fusion approach

Several years ago, I saw a Google video (back before the YouTube acquisition) where the leader of a group studying an unusual approach to fusion gave a presentation. His approach centered on a ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

In a nuclear reaction, where does the energy go?

Lets say two hydrogen fuse together, where does the energy released go? Is it carried away as momentum imparted on the helium atom? Is it carried away in neutrinos? Is it carried away as gamma rays? ...
-1
votes
1answer
114 views

Mass loss for Fusion energy? [closed]

I am thinking how you can estimate the mass loss of the fusion energy for 1 kWh. I think you cannot use Einstein's $E=mc^2$ to calculate the mass loss in the fusion reaction of the Sun. How can ...
3
votes
1answer
793 views

Can we generate infinite energy by successive fission and fusion reactions?

Fission divides one Helium atom into two Hydrogen (Deuterium) atoms. And fusion, once again, puts together those two Hydrogen atoms into one Helium atom. In both reactions, overall output energy is ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

In what ways does the sun output energy?

I'm curious about the energy output of the sun, and how it breaks down. What fraction is from EM radiation, solar wind, neutrinos, et cetera? How does energy output vary over the EM spectrum? I was ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

Using nuclear devices to terraform Mars: Elon Musk's nuclear proposal? [closed]

Elon Musk has recently suggested Using nuclear devices to terraform Mars. In the past, comet related ideas were mooted, but Musk seems, to me anyway, to be a man in a hurry and perhaps his idea has ...
59
votes
3answers
8k views

Why didn't the Big Bang create heavy elements?

In the case of a supernova explosion it is possible to create heavy elements through fusion. Supernovae have a tremendous amount of energy in a very small volume but not as much energy per volume as ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

How does fusion work in the Sun if neutrons have more mass than protons?

According to my textbook, the next result of the fusion reactions in the Sun is: 4H -> He + neutrinos + gamma photons However, if hydrogen atoms are basically a proton and helium atoms are 2 protons ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Are known (“old”) elements being made synthetically using fusion?

Are known ("old") elements being made synthetically using fusion? I hear about research about making new heavy elements, but type "making known elements" on Google and nothing comes up. Are any known ...
7
votes
0answers
57 views

What happens to Hydrogen-Boron plasma at 3 billion Kelvin?

A recent popular report states (beware, I believe it is not peer reviewed and this slightly smells like a PR stunt) that a private company TriAlpha has made some notable progress towards ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

What causes the death of the Sun?

In a previous question I learned that in each second only a miniscule portion of the total hydrogen in the Sun is converted to helium and that the number is 1/10^18 of its mass converted each second. ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

Where is the Hydrogen the Sun consumes?

I understand the Sun consumes 600,000,000 tons of Hydrogen each second. Where is this Hydrogen? Is all the Hydrogen the Sun will ever consume inside it or are there vast amounts of Hydrogen in space ...
0
votes
0answers
102 views

Neutron energy inside reaction of proton-boron fusion

While proton-boron fusion is considered 'aneutronic' (apparently aneutronic actually means that less than 1% of the energy produced is via neutrons) I believe that it is expected that proton-boron ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Measured versus Predicted Energy gain in Tokamaks with size

Does there exist a known relationship between the energy gain of Tokamaks in dependence of their size? How do fusion engineers can predict how much gain will a given Tokamak size deliver? Do they just ...
5
votes
4answers
140 views

Why do stars undergo nuclear fusion?

This might sound silly. But we always talk about nuclear fusion in stars and I have always wondered why this process happens at all. Is it inevitable for fusion to happen at the temperature and ...
2
votes
3answers
316 views

Does energy conservation not hold in fission and fusion processes?

I have read that during fission and fusion processes, there is some kind of equilibrium between the single nucleus and the disintegration products, so they are constantly being converted into each ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Can the lithium test be applied to differentiate brown dwarfs from other substellar objects?

The lithium test is often used to differentiate brown dwarfs from low-mass M-type dwarfs (see e.g. Martin et al. (1994)), because brown dwarfs (at least the lower-mass ones) do not burn lithium, ...
9
votes
1answer
548 views

Do supernovae produce an appreciable amount of lithium?

David Z's answer to this question got me wondering - is any appreciable amount of lithium produced as the result of a supernova explosion, either by fusion (which seems unlikely to me, but I don't ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Do exotic states of matter have high fusion cross-sections?

The Lawson criterion suggests that a chain fusion reaction will only occur in a confined plasma. Since it's a product of temperature and pressure (or density) a chain reaction would be virtually ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

How much energy is released per unit mass from depressurizing degenerate matter?

A neutron star remnant consists mostly of neutron degenerate matter. If you happened to suddenly have 1 kg of it in your lap without the pressure necessary to keep it degenerate, I suppose it would ...
7
votes
3answers
792 views

Nuclear fusion : ion vs atom fusion cross section?

I've read critique on ITER project (in Russian), and one of points was that cross section of ion-ion fusion is much lower than ion-atom and atom-atom, and that's the reason why it likely to not work. ...