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I have read articles about quantitative knowledge of particle physics, such as energies, cross sections and particle lifetimes, gained from work at the LHC and other accelerators. Is such quantitative knowledge of the Standard Model currently useful or necessary in the development of controlled fusion?

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  • $\begingroup$ Why would you think otherwise? $\endgroup$ – StudyStudy Mar 22 '19 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ You can never know what may be useful and what not for a final discovery $\endgroup$ – Agnius Vasiliauskas Mar 22 '19 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ Agnius Vasiliauskas, I mean at the present time, so far. $\endgroup$ – Ralph Dratman Mar 22 '19 at 22:15
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No. The nuclear physics of fusion (and fission) is well known.

Note the LHC collision energy is 13 TeV, or

$$E = 2 \,\mu {\rm J} = kT \rightarrow T = 1.7 \times 10^{12}\,{\rm K}$$

which is far above fusion temperatures (100 million K).

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  • $\begingroup$ So we just need temperatures 3 or 4 orders of magnitude higher than currently aimed for if we want to approach LHC collision-energy range. If that were somehow possible, might particle physics offer anything to facilitate energy production? Or could we perhaps aim a high-energy particle beam into the fusion chamber to turbocharge some slow process? $\endgroup$ – Ralph Dratman Mar 23 '19 at 3:14
  • $\begingroup$ @RalphDratman An LHC proton striking a U235 nucleus and sticking has a Lorentz factor $\gamma = E/m \approx \frac 1 2 13TeV/236GeV \approx 27,000$, which is ultra-relativistic. Any thing it hits leaves the power station at near the speed of light, taking all that energy with it. $\endgroup$ – JEB Mar 25 '19 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ JEB I very much appreciate your straightforward, easy-to-follow answers. Cheers! $\endgroup$ – Ralph Dratman Mar 26 '19 at 3:04

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