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If you directed fast,'hot' neutrons towards a small amount of homogeneously mixed fusion fuel at a point, is fusion likely where the involvement of the neutrons need only be in providing energy and pressure? I imagined that neutrons would be useful at conferring high energy and pressure for just an instance a point because of their large mass. The difficulty might be energising/accelerating the neutrons, but would lasers not be able to do this as some Japanese scientists have recently been able to do to electrons via pauli exclusion (that is relevant to both neutrons and electrons)?

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  • $\begingroup$ Consider any reaction cross section (including simple scattering). Consider how ‘small’ an amount of fuel needs to be to get any neutrons to interact with the fuel. Reconsider the idea. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jan 19 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ Could you give a link for the Japanese work? $\endgroup$ – Keith McClary Jan 20 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ OK, the Japanese scientists were using laser accelerated 'relativistic' electrons to heat an amount of fuel, rather than directing to a point, but is it not still about using an energetic beam of particles to help 'ignite' the fuel. I suppose neutrons don't really provide ignition compression/'energy' in a fusion bomb then, and are they just too difficult to accelerate/decay too soon? The Japanese research: eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/ou-ego092518.php nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13574-8 $\endgroup$ – JKB Jan 20 at 10:06

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