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13

Heavier nuclei can also undergo fusion, but that's not very useful for energy production. One of the reasons is, as you've mentioned, the binding energy per nucleon. Let's have a look at the binding energy curve (image taken from Wikipedia): Iron-56 has the highest binding energy per nucleon, which means it is the most stable nucleus. Roughly speaking, ...


6

An analogy: nucleons stick together because of some powerful glue (because otherwise they would fly apart, especially protons because they have positive charge and thus repel each other). Bigger nuclei need more glue, but, until you reach 26 protons or so (i.e. iron), the amount of glue for each extra nucleon is decreasing. Past that point, it starts ...


3

Theoretically, yes. The problem is that there's no way to build a "small" thermonuclear warhead. Fusion isn't as simple as fission, the latter being as easy as smacking the right amount of Plutonium together. It is technically energetically favorable to fuse heavy isotopes of hydrogen into helium, but the conditions required to do so include giving the ...


2

a giant air tank. if the tank is large enough, we could set off a bomb inside without exceeding the containment strength of the perimeter, then harvest power from the increased pressure in the tank. i imagine making a large air-tight tank might be cost-prohibitive, although a 19 million cubic foot tank is already in use. perhaps we could build a ...


2

As you say, the problem is confinement (aka containment) - fusion is relatively easy; controlled, useful fusion turns out to be incredibly difficult and expensive. So the easiest way to harness it, and the only technically and economically viable way (for decades from now, and possibly a century or more into the future), is to have a large fusion reactor in ...


2

This was actually considered under the Plowshare project The idea being to use an underground nuke to heat the surrounding rock and then run it like a geothermal resource. However, radiation problems.


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Well, we are all aware of the fact that every system tries to minimize its potential energy.Now, potential energy of of heavy nuclei is greater than that of light nuclei. If it were to encounter FUSION, that would result in decrement of binding energy AS PER THE BINDING ENERGY CURVE Therefore fission would result in higher binding energy, thus is ...



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