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10

If they didn't release energy, they wouldn't happen. The alternative, nuclear reactions that require energy, clearly need said amount of energy, which has to come from somewhere, e.g. kinetic energy involved in the collision of two nuclei (even ones that release energy usually have a "barrier" and some amount of initial kinetic energy is needed to overcome ...


9

The WKB approximation states that in one dimension, the tunneling probability $P$ can be approximated as $\ln P=-\frac{2\sqrt{2m}}{\hbar}\int_a^b \sqrt{V-E} dx$ , where the limits of integration $a$ and $b$ are the classical turning points, $m$ is the reduced mass, the electrical potential $V$ is a function of $x$, and $E$ is the total energy. Setting ...


8

The Sun obviously produces far more energy per second than is required to fuse an iron nucleus with some other nucleus. The problem is concentrating all that energy on the iron nucleus. It's not enough to known that it takes the energy from $n$ hydrogen fusions to fuse one iron nucleus, it's getting the energetic products from those $n$ hydrogen fusion ...


7

The problem with attempting to fuse two protons is that there is no bound state $^2$He, for the rather obvious reason that there are no neutrons present to hold the two protons together. The fusion of two protons requires one of them to undergo beta plus decay while the two protons are close, and the probability of this is vanishingly small. It happens in ...


7

[Rewrote the answer because I found out that my initial approximation was too crude.] In the WKB approximation, the tunneling probability is $\exp[-\int_a^b dx \sqrt{(2m/\hbar^2)(V-E)}]$, where the integral is over the classically forbidden region from $a\sim10^{-15}$ m to $b\sim 10^{-10}$ m. The first obvious thing to try is approximating the integrand as ...


7

This creates a point of extremely focused energy at the middle point where the bubble collapses. In theory, this point focuses enough energy to trigger nuclear fusion. It is not currently accepted mainstream science to say that collapsing bubbles focus energy enough to cause nuclear fusion. Temperatures over 10,000K can be acheived, but are still well ...


6

The problem with proton-proton fusion is that there is no bound state of two protons. For the fusion to occur one of the protons has to turn into a neutron by beta plus decay. This is mediated by the weak force so it's a slow process and the probability of it happening while the protons are close enough to form a deuteron is very low. By contrast a deuteron ...


5

All three isotopes of Hydrogen can undergo fusion under the right conditions. The main reason to use D or T is that they fuse more easily than H. For example, H-H fusion is primarily what drives our sun, but in the lab D-D or D-T reactions are much easier to initiate. The D-T reaction gives off 17.6 MeV of energy, D-D actually has 3 different reactions it ...


5

The basic problem of modelling a star is covered in a number of textbooks and lecture notes. Try searching for "stellar structure and evolution" or something along those lines. The best readily available lecture notes, IMO, are those of Onno Pols, available here. There was also a similar post on Quora, which you can read too. In the mean time, here's the ...


5

Yes, heavy shielding is needed primarily for gamma radiation. Neutron radiation (with energies seen in fission reactors) is easily stopped with boron-10 (isotopically enriched boric acid in water). While alpha and beta radiation is easier to shield, it is even more dangerous if alpha and beta active particles (dust) is consumed by human, because they will ...


5

When you mention solar power, it makes me think you are thinking about photo-voltaic power or power extracted from solar panels. The power put out by the sun is about $3.95*10^{26}W$ per second. But solar panels can only capture a fraction of that energy. Even so, in 2008 humans used about $4*10^{13}W$ per second which is many orders of magnitude less ...


4

As you correctly stated in normal situation the star cannot sustain the process. This doesn't mean that there are no such reactions going on in the core. The difference is that during the pre-supernova phase of the star the production of iron is negligible compared to the star. When it goes supernova, it produces a comparable amount of iron.


4

A seemingly problematic aspect of the proposed mechanism is that it allegedly requires two hot deuterons. (By contrast, U-235 fission requires just one neutron.) Why is that so problematic? If $n$ is the number of 20keV particles (i.e. hot deuterons, or K-shell holes, or some superposition of them), then we expect something like: $$dn/dt = An^2 - Bn$$ ...


4

In a very general sense a lot of reaction that are written in one step can also be written in two. I.e. alpha capture on carbon-131 is often written $$\alpha + ^{13}\!\mathrm{C} \to ^{16}\!\mathrm{O} + \text{various photons and leptons} \,,$$ but may be written as one of $$\begin{align} \alpha + ^{13}\!\mathrm{C} &\to ^{16}\!\mathrm{O} \\ \alpha + ...


4

Here they say that there is no waste per se only that some parts can become contaminated and they'll refurbish them onsite. The rest will be handed over to the authorities. https://www.iter.org/mach/hotcell The Hot Cell Facility will be necessary at ITER to provide a secure environment for the processing, repair or refurbishment, testing, and ...


3

Hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium through the proton-proton chain which fuses four protons into one alpha particle (nucleus of ${}^{4}He$) and releases two neutrinos, two positrons and energy in the form of gamma photons. Although photons travel at the speed of light, the random motions they experienced inside the sun takes them thousand of years to leave ...


3

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 fusion only takes place at KeV energies, while chemistry is at eV energies. This is belied by inner shells, which in Palladium store 3 or 20 KeV of energy ...


3

According to this talk by Neil Mitchell (slide 4) there are two different strategies. EU, US, and Japan are planning a "pure fusion" reactor in which the $14~MeV$ neutrons resulting from the fusion reaction are directly converted to heat. China and Korea are studying for a hybrid reactor in which those neutrons will be used to catalyse a fission reaction ...


3

In a fission bomb, the fallout consists of fission-decay fragments, which are nuclei that can have long enough half-lives to be transported by winds. Fusion bombs are basically the same idea, because they use fission triggers. and is ionizing radiation capable of radiating materials for a long time ? In theory, yes, e.g., exposure to neutrons in ...


3

The article The path to metallicity: synthesis of CNO elements in standard BBN attempts to quantify the amount of carbon produced during big bang nucleosynthesis. It concludes that the ratio of carbon-12 formed to hydrogen was $~4 \times 10^{-16}$ with lesser amounts of carbon-13 and carbon-14.


3

The sun in powered by nuclear fusion of hydrogen to helium. There is plenty of hydrogen remaining to keep the sun going for billions of years. So, solar energy is not infinite, but it will last for billions of years.


3

Very interesting question! In chemistry you spend lots of time discussing exothermic and endothermic reactions: when you put your reagents together, sometimes the reaction heats things up, and sometimes the reaction cools things down. Nuclear reactions are very different, in that essentially all spontaneous reactions studied in laboratories are exothermic. ...


2

First, a minor correction: iron is not too heavy to allow the reaction to continue, it is incredibly stable and therefore cannot produce anything else (it would take $\sim10^{22}$ years for it to decay into chromium and its binding energy is the highest per nucleon, so it would "cost" more to produce something heavier than iron has in it). Research shows ...


2

No, it is not true. This is not how fusion in stars like the sun works. The sun is fusing hydrogen to make helium. At this point any other reactions are very rare, not sustaining, and irrelevant. It is not true that a whole chain of higher elements are being created at this point. It is also not true that iron is too heavy to allow nuclear reations. ...


2

Aside: What's with this obsession with multimegaton explosions? End aside. There are no inherent limits on the size of fusion explosion. Moreover, with the use of staged weapon design, antimatter amount needed to initiate the arbitrary powerful explosion would essentially remain the same. Ordinary fusion explosion (Teller-Ulam design) is initiated by the ...


2

I'm not an expert and I know we have some people on the site who are much closer to being experts, but there are several points that I can offer to tide you over. A large fraction of the precautions taken in reactor design are for protection in the event that things have gone wrong, rather than necessary in the course of typical running. Much thought also ...


2

The only planet in the Solar system where nuclear fusion occurs is Earth. And that is only because we have the means to achieve the combination of high pressure and high temperature to overcome the Coulomb barrier. Even the heaviest of the planets, Jupiter, is about ten times too small to achieve the pressure required to sustain fusion.


2

You're totally misinformed... atomic bombs raise from an exponentially expanding interaction, where in Uranium, for examples, a neutron is fired initially, and each neutron hits another Uranium atom and releases another 3 neutrons, and the energy released grows exponentially to create a horrible explosion. And about the speed you can reach, this depends ...


2

That's right. I'm really out of the loop regarding nuclear fusion shielding so feel free to correct me, but the only radioactive waste will be the reactor's inner walls (because of the radiation). The only other 'waste' that a fusion reactor produces is helium.


2

The Wikipedia article answers most of your questions. What are the requirements for hydrogen atoms to go through fusion? Two atoms must overcome the coulomb barrier, which can be done by forcing two atoms very close together, or by leaving them moderately close for long periods of time, which allows them to tunnel through the barrier. Is it a ...



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