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31
votes
9answers
9k views

Can Jupiter be ignited?

Our solar system itself contains two candidate "Earths" One is Jupiter's moon Europa and another is Saturn's moon Titan. Both of them have the problem of having at low temperature as Sun's heat ...
16
votes
2answers
547 views

Is there a sound theoretical argument against inner-shell induced nuclear chain reactions?

There is a claim often made about cold fusion, that it is excluded theoretically. The main theoretical argument is that electronic energies are too low to overcome the Coulomb barrier, since d-d ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How often does nuclear fusion occur within the human body?

I'm just curious. I figure atoms fuse occasionally just by chance, like quantum tunneling or rogue waves. Is this true? If so, any idea how often?
12
votes
2answers
366 views

Hydrogen as a fuel in Sun

The source of Sun's incessant energy is hydrogen; which is continuously converting to helium through nuclear fusion reaction releasing energy. Why does not all hydrogen convert into helium in one big ...
11
votes
2answers
416 views

How large can you make a tokamak?

I've seen questions on how small you can make a tokamak. But I haven't yet seen any "physical" upper limit on the tokamak design. If you take a wind turbine for example, doubling the linear ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Nuclear fusion: what causes this “resonance” peak?

Can anyone explain why the $^{11}\mathrm{B}\mathrm{H}$ fusion cross-section has a peak near 150 keV, and why $\mathrm{D}\mathrm{D}$ and $\mathrm{D}\mathrm{T}$ have no such sharp peaks?
10
votes
1answer
770 views

With what probability does nuclear fusion occur at energies far below the Coulomb barrier?

Even at the core of the sun, the temperature of $\sim 10^7$ K only results in $kT\sim1$ keV, which is about a thousand times less than the electrical potential energy of $\sim1$ MeV needed in order to ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the challenges to achieving cold fusion?

I am an absolute neophyte regarding physics. What are the challenges to achieving cold fusion? I'm not sure this is a duplicate of Why is cold fusion considered bogus?, because that question is ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What new breakthrough energy technologies are close to being realized? [closed]

Energy production is one of the burning issues for humankind. There has been some talk about future energy technologies including Fusion, Anti-matter annihilation and Zero-point-energy (from most to ...
8
votes
2answers
235 views

What is the difference between the KDEMO and DEMO projects?

I'm writing a paper on the future of fusion technology and I can't seem to find the difference between Europe's DEMO experiment and Korea's KDEMO except for the fact that they are both planned to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why doesn't helium start to fuse while there is still hydrogen fuel?

In all the descriptions of the stellar life cycle it seems as though helium doesn't start being fused until all (most?) of the hydrogen is gone. Is this true? Why is this? It seems counter ...
7
votes
2answers
427 views

What elements can be created in the fusion process of different types of stars?

As I understand it fusion inside a sun can produce heavier and heavier elements until some sort of "nucleus size limit" is reached. As far as I understand, the limit is thought to be reached with the ...
7
votes
3answers
261 views

Concentrating Sunlight to initiate fusion reaction

The idea is to collect sunlight over a large area, and concentrate it down to the nano scale. For the sake of discussion lets say you concentrate all the light you collect down to 1000 nanometers ...
7
votes
3answers
548 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How do you build a nuclear reactor in your garage?

When I came across this link earlier today, I was astounded. Nuclear reactors are immensely complex devices that took scientists years to develop, and are usually housed in huge facilities. The link ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

Does tritium hydride exhibit measurable spontaneous fusion via proton tunneling?

In a fascinating 30 June 2013 article in Nature Chemistry, researchers from the University of Leeds found that when molecules of hydroxyl (OH, a fairly stable radical) and methanol (CH$_3$OH) are cold ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
176 views

Recent news about Tokamak

I first heard about the Tokamak in highschool 10 years ago and was wondering how far the technology has come since then. Can it sustain a reaction for more than a few seconds? Are these devices ...
6
votes
2answers
777 views

Why is Helium-3 better than Deuterium

I see that many websites and magazines with physics thematic are pretty excited about mining Helium 3 isotope on the Moon. But this seems to be a very hard-to-get resource. For more than one reason: ...
6
votes
2answers
306 views

When did the first carbon atom in the Universe come into existence?

I am a chemist with a passion for astrophysics and particle physics, and one of the most marvellous things I have learned in my life is the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. It saddens me how my ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Where does the energy produced by fusion come from?

Fission, in layman's (or "initiate's") terms, is easy enough to understand; a large atom with a lot of protons and neutrons requires a large amount of force provided by the strong interaction to ...
5
votes
4answers
644 views

Help fill in my understanding of the Polywell fusion reactor

Polywell is a proposed new type of fusion reactor, which is designed to use magnetic fields to overcome the problems with the Elmore-Tuck-Watson fusor. I'm trying to understand exactly how it works. ...
5
votes
3answers
245 views

Tokamaks and the reason they are still not efficient

I'm curious about why tokamaks are inefficient as generators. In laymans terms, what is the main reason(s) tokamaks still cannot be used as generators? My limited understanding of tokamaks tells me ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Can open, unsafe nuclear fusion reaction burn the atmosphere?

I happened to hear people saying that the nuclear fusion bomb tests could set the atmosphere on fire. I have some serious doubts about that - but I have no facts. Nuclear fusion reaction requires ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How to explain $E=mc^2$ mass defect in fission/fusion

What is the nature of nuclear energy? This is closely related to the correct explanation of mass defect. I did some research of that topic and cannot come to a single comprehensive and consistent ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How much of the energy from 1 megaton H Bomb explosion could we capture to do useful work?

The world is full of nuclear warheads being stockpiled. Controlled fusion power seems a long way away. Could we put these warheads to better use by exploding them in a controlled way and capturing ...
4
votes
2answers
536 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
781 views

Is there any inherent danger in operating a Thermonuclear Reactor?

Nuclear fusion research appears to promise sustainable, practically unlimited energy, and according to ITER it will be a perfectly safe, non-polluting source of energy. My question is if there are ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the E-cat by Andrea Rossi et al. for real?

Does this thing really do what they say? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhvD4KuAEmo If it does, it looks like this will probably be the biggest breakthrough in science ever :)
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Is nuclear fusion via underwater vacuum possible?

An under water explosion creates a bubbly which quickly collapses on itself. The action takes less that 1/100 of a second for bubbles less than a foot across. This creates a point of extremely ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Fusion: Why deuterium and tritium?

I would like to know why scientists try to use deuterium and tritium for fusion and not just the ordinary isotope of Hydrogen ${}^1H$?
4
votes
2answers
970 views

Could we use particle colliders as fusion generators?

So I know the basic gist is that fusion power's main issue is sustaining the fusion. I also know that there are two methods. The Torus method and the laser method. The torus magnetically contains ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

What is a simple mathematical model of a star?

I had a discussion at work regarding a recent fusion experiment in China that resulted in temperatures five times hotter than the Sun. Someone mentioned that no one can know the temperature of the ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

What does the Coulomb barrier really mean?

I realize I'm trying to get a simple answer on a complicated subject, but here goes anyway. I've done some research and I understand (well, mostly) about how Vc is the amount of energy required to get ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Helium Fusion and the Origin of Elements

In the fifth of his Messenger Lectures Feynman mentions the fact that Carbon-12 has an energy level at 7.82 MeV. He then states that this is what enables the fusion of three Helium-4 ions into Carbon ...
4
votes
0answers
66 views

How fission and fusion create energy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to explain $E=mc^2$ mass defect in fission/fusion In order for energy to be released, mass has to be "lost", because mass is a form of energy. In my science class, ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can fusion and fission happen at the same time, in the same place?

Can fusion and fission happen at the same time, in the same place? I was talking with a friend, and he thinks that fission and fusion happen at the same time at the sun, is that true? I guess this ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

Proposed Closing of Alcator C-Mod Fusion Tokamak

So I have friends at school who are petitioning against the proposed closing of the tokamak (refer to the recently released FY 2013 Administration Budget). I told said friends that before I signed the ...
3
votes
2answers
840 views

What is the shielding in nuclear reactors mainly against?

I have a little knowledge about ionizing radiation and I have been confused over why nuclear reactors need these massive shields. So, if I am not mistaken, Alpha and Beta radiation are not that ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Proof Human Designs for Fusion Could Work

Are there convincing proofs on paper that fusion is possible the various ways humans are trying to design machines to do it or is the only way absolutely proven to work in theory also the only way ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

How clean will first generation fusion reactors be compared to fission reactors?

Googling the topic seems to indicate that fusion reactors will produce less waste and less toxic radioactivity, but this fact never seems to be mentioned during the current debate over nuclear power. ...
3
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

pp chain gamma decay / intermediate state

Based on the first equation at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton%E2%80%93proton_chain_reaction $$_1^{1}H+_1^{1}H \to _2^{2}He+\gamma$$ Is it correct to say that in the P-P chain two hydrogen atoms ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

What is relationship between Quantum tunnelling and Gravitational potential energy of stars?

Are there a direct mathematical relationship between Quantum tunnelling and Gravitational potential energy of stars? The true source of the Sun's energy was shown by Hans Bethe to be nuclear fusion ...
3
votes
2answers
209 views

Neutron generators as Fusion reactor

One way of generating neutrons is by fusing D-D or D with T. In neutron generators that work by acceleration D-ions into a solid matrix of e.g. metal and T or D (metal hydrides). Such generators can ...
3
votes
1answer
416 views

“Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons” and all these Farnsworth fusors

I've checked specs of Russian "Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons" module on Mars MSL rover - it can do 10^8 neutron pulses at 10 pulses per second. It works on D-T reaction in tiny linear accelerator, and ...
3
votes
1answer
262 views

role of pure mathematics in fusion?

Is there any way a pure math guy can get his rigorous math fix while simultaneously moving fusion research forward? Is fusion simply too complicated to take a pure math approach? What open math ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Does magnetic geometry determine the scaling of a Polywell fusor?

Does magnetic geometry determine the scaling of a Polywell fusor? Forgive imprecise terminology here - by "magnetic geometry" I mean the configuration of the magnets, the configuration that creates ...
3
votes
2answers
47 views

Nuclear fusion using electromagnetic fields

I was just thinking about how deuterium and tritium are charged particles and so I couldn't help but wonder why we don't use the same process used in the LHC(electromagnetic fields to accelerate ...
3
votes
1answer
336 views

Is nuclear fusion possible on planets in our Solar system?

Apart from thermo-nuclear reactions in the Sun, (and in hydrogen bombs and other methods developed by scientists) does nuclear fusion occur naturally in the planets? If not, why? Also, do the Sun ...