Register to reply

Proton Beam Elemental Transmutation

by beatlemaniacj
Tags: cyclotron, elements, lawrence, proton, protons
Share this thread:
beatlemaniacj
#1
Feb7-12, 06:31 PM
P: 49
I was reading about Earnest Lawrence and a question dawned onto me; Lets say you bombarded a metal, lets say iron or copper, with high energy protons coming from a cyclotron. The protons going from the "dees" into an accelerating vacuum tube with the specimen at the end. Would the proton beam make the item decay into another element? Would the decay/transmutation into be quick or take a long time, and would it make the item dangerously radioactive. (defining dangerous as giving off ALPHA radiation and relatively few Gamma Rays.) Would it instantly make it a new element? Please tell me, using the examples stated above. This is TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL so moderators don't worry.
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Scientists uncover clues to role of magnetism in iron-based superconductors
Researchers find first direct evidence of 'spin symmetry' in atoms
X-ray laser probes tiny quantum tornadoes in superfluid droplets
mathman
#2
Feb8-12, 04:09 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 6,058
There is no general answer. It depends on the energy of the protons and the nature of the specific target.
beatlemaniacj
#3
Feb8-12, 07:20 PM
P: 49
Lets say a 1.2 MeV cyclotron, 12 in. in diameter, firing protons at a piece of iron, or copper at the end of a vacuum. The desired result would be transmutation. If this would not happen adjust the cyclotron parameters as necessary. This is hypothetical.

Drakkith
#4
Feb8-12, 10:02 PM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,837
Proton Beam Elemental Transmutation

I believe this has already been demonstrated using a dueterium beam fired at a tritium target, resulting in nuclear fusion and creating Helium.
beatlemaniacj
#5
Feb9-12, 06:38 AM
P: 49
Yes but that was 2 hydrogen nuclei ad created fusion. I'm looking to see if you could add a proton to a relatively heavy nuclei
mathman
#6
Feb9-12, 03:08 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 6,058
Quote Quote by beatlemaniacj View Post
Yes but that was 2 hydrogen nuclei ad created fusion. I'm looking to see if you could add a proton to a relatively heavy nuclei
http://www.triumf.ca/research/resear...ton-beam-lines

Above is an example of the kind of research going on. Look under experiments and you will find some examples of what you are looking for.
beatlemaniacj
#7
Feb9-12, 07:28 PM
P: 49
Thanks for the link but i'm actually building my own cyclotron (don't lecture me about safety i've taken care of that). At twelve inches in diameter its going to only produce energies from 1.2-1.5 MeV protons. But What would be a good target? I would hope to make one element into another. I really would like to avoid any radioactivity because of obvious reasons (i.e. i don't want to go through the licensing phase). I would probably prefer fusion, only because i can do it rather safely with krypton (which are heavier than iron nuclei, meaning they absorb the energy), by firing protons made my electrically "stripping" away the electrons from hydrogen, and injecting the ions through a three holed "chimney." Would this cause neutrons to be released? My theory is that, because of the neutral charge of the krypton atom, the pure protons would go into the nucleus and produce an isotope of rubidium (R36) or natural rubidium (R37) if one neutron is released.
beatlemaniacj
#8
Feb9-12, 07:46 PM
P: 49
After some research i realized that rubidium is not a safe element to handle. WOuld bombarding krypton with protons produce rubidium DEFINITELY, or another element (its unlikely that only one proton will get in.) Please tell me.
beatlemaniacj
#9
Feb9-12, 07:57 PM
P: 49
My main quesition is wether it will produce another element at all. were talking PURE Krypton, NOt KF2. (that would make krypton diflouride not a new element)
Drakkith
#10
Feb9-12, 08:15 PM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,837
Krypton is a gas and makes an absolutely terrible target due to it's low density. And you have no way to contain it without it getting into the vacuum portion of the machine.
Furthermore, it appears you don't really have any idea what you are doing, so I highly suggest not attempting this. Radiation WILL be produced in any kind of particle accelerator, especially one where you smash particles into other particles.
beatlemaniacj
#11
Feb9-12, 08:33 PM
P: 49
I do know what I'm doing. If you see any safety things I've overlooked please alert me. But thanks for the advice. I figured that out after I posted this. And I realize the radiation from the accelerator itself I'm asking about the fusion. Remember a heavier nucleus than Iron absorbs energy so I know gamma won't be produced. Will neutron?
Drakkith
#12
Feb9-12, 08:49 PM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,837
Quote Quote by beatlemaniacj View Post
Remember a heavier nucleus than Iron absorbs energy so I know gamma won't be produced. Will neutron?
No, that is not true. If you force a proton to fuse into any nucleus it WILL release energy. Iron and Nickel simply have the most binding energy of any element. Heavier elements still have binding energy. Take an atom and find out it's rest mass. Then find the atom that has 1 more proton than the first and look at it's rest mass. It will be LESS than the first atom + a free proton.
beatlemaniacj
#13
Feb9-12, 08:59 PM
P: 49
I know it will but it won't be catostrophic? That is my question. And your being unclear? What will be less? And just will it form a new element? Yes or no? Sorry for being sharp.
Drakkith
#14
Feb9-12, 09:01 PM
Mentor
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,837
Quote Quote by beatlemaniacj View Post
I know it will but it won't be catostrophic? That is my question. And your being unclear? What will be less? And just will it form a new element? Yes or no? Sorry for being sharp.
I have no idea what you are asking. Will what be catastrophic? Single nuclear reactions are never catastrophic and you can't hope you blow yourself or your equipment up with nuclear reactions in this matter, it's simply not possible. So again, you seem to have no idea what you are doing and PF rules don't allow us to help people put themselves in danger, so I don't think we can help you.
Vanadium 50
#15
Feb9-12, 09:07 PM
Mentor
Vanadium 50's Avatar
P: 16,319
Since this thread has turned into "what target should I use for my homemade accelerator" and since we do not permit discussions of dangerous activities, this thread is closed.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Deflecting high energy proton beam... High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 0
Magnetic Fields proton beam accelerated Introductory Physics Homework 2
Protons delivered per second in a proton beam Introductory Physics Homework 1
Proton Beam therapy (magnetic field) Introductory Physics Homework 2
Proton Beam Therapy Biology 0