I have this idea rolling in my head for quite a while, but lately I got really interested to know if it's even remotely feasible. I am complete novice to the field of nuclear engineering and cold fusion, and maybe because of my limited knowledge my idea sounds really compelling to me.
Well, here it is:
The first element is a particle accelerator, that accelerates a stream of protons to a kinetic energy sufficient to fuse them even if the other (target) particles they are supposed to collide with have very low kinetic energy (almost stationary). From the research I did, it seems that building an accelerator that can do that isn't hard at all, and it would actually be a small one (if it's a cyclotron).
The second element is a tubular container full of NEGATIVE hydrogen ions! ;) The way this can be achieved is by making the container - one of the two electrodes of a capacitor. So the inner container that holds the ions is negatively charged (so it repels them), and the outer one is the positively charged electrode. You get the idea, a container within another container with a gap between them to make a capacitor... I think this is the standard way of containing plasma. Although in this case the ion gas is held at room temperature.
Now as you might guess there must be a tiny opening in one of the ends of the tubular container so that the high speed beam of protons can enter the container and fuse with the negative hydrogen ions inside. And this is why the container has to be tubular with certain length, and it must be aligned along the path of the beam of protons so that there is maximum chance of a proton hitting and fusing with a negative ion. And as you already get the idea the fact that the target consists of a multitude of negative hydrogen ions should (I think) dramatically increase the chance of fusion! I think they would be like "guided missiles", attracting each other and colliding even if they are not originally on a tight collision course.
So colliding highly energetic protons with a dense cloud of low energy negative hydrogen ions is essential to my idea, if that can't happen than probably my idea is not worth it. Say for example the protons are so fast that the attractive forces between them and the ions simply doesn't matter.
Another concern is the density of the ion gas, it should be as dense as possible even liquid, but I don't think you can easily liquefy a mass of mutually repulsive particles.
- So will this gas be nearly dense enough to allow all, or most of the protons to fuse with the ions?
- Will the attractive force between the particles be enough to make a difference?
- Is it even possible to hold such a dense cloud of ions the way I suggest?
- If the ions are held at really low temperature in the container would that allow the density of the ion gas to increase significantly?
Also I think that the negatively charged container will not allow ions to escape through the opening, while the protons will be free to enter (if well centred to avoid colliding with the walls of the opening). The protons might need to have some more energy to compensate them being pulled back by the walls of the container after they get inside it. I don't think that would be a problem, would it?
So this is it! :)
Now since I have very little understanding in the field and my idea is probably even naive, but anyway I'd like to know exactly why it wouldn't work? :)
Thanks a lot, in advance! :)
P.S. Feel free to ask any additional questions if my explanation wasn't clear enough!