Can Hydrogen Fusion and Helium Fission Provide an Endless Energy Source?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of creating an endless energy source through the constant fusion-fission process between Hydrogen and Helium. However, the idea is debunked as the process of causing Helium to undergo fission would actually require energy, making it an inefficient and pointless endeavor.
  • #1
rpcarnell
10
0
This may seem like a crazy or stupid question. Maybe both.

What if there was a way to generate fusion using an element like Hydrogen, and then, miraculously, discover a way to generate fission out of the end result (in this case Hellium)? Could the constant fusion-fission between Hydrogen and Hellium end in an endless energy source, or am I thinking of another perpetual motion machine here?
 
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  • #2
rpcarnell said:
This may seem like a crazy or stupid question. Maybe both.

What if there was a way to generate fusion using an element like Hydrogen, and then, miraculously, discover a way to generate fission out of the end result (in this case Hellium)? Could the constant fusion-fission between Hydrogen and Hellium end in an endless energy source, or am I thinking of another perpetual motion machine here?

There is a reason why energy is given out when two light elements fuse, while energy is only given out when a heavy element undergoes fission. Look at the nuclear binding energy curve.

To cause Helium to undergo fission (even if this is possible) REQUIRES energy. It does NOT liberate energy upon such a process. So in principle, even under optimum condition, you're just swallowing up the energy that you generated from the fusion process. So why even bother?

Zz.
 
  • #3


I can understand the curiosity behind this question and the desire for an endless energy source. However, the concept of fusion and fission grail is not a realistic or feasible solution for generating energy.

Firstly, fusion and fission are two distinct processes that cannot occur simultaneously. Fusion is the process of combining two lighter nuclei to form a heavier nucleus, while fission is the splitting of a heavy nucleus into smaller nuclei. These processes require different conditions and cannot be interchanged.

Secondly, while fusion does produce large amounts of energy, it is not a perpetual source. Fusion reactions require an enormous amount of energy to initiate and sustain, making it difficult to maintain as a continuous source of energy. Additionally, the byproduct of fusion, helium, cannot be used for fission reactions.

Lastly, the concept of perpetual motion is a violation of the laws of thermodynamics, which state that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. Therefore, the idea of fusion and fission grail as a perpetual energy source is not scientifically valid.

In conclusion, while the idea of fusion and fission grail may seem attractive, it is not a practical or scientifically sound solution for generating endless energy. As scientists, it is important to continue researching and developing sustainable and efficient energy sources that align with the laws of physics.
 

1. What is the difference between fusion and fission?

Fusion and fission are both nuclear reactions that involve the splitting or combining of atoms. The main difference is that fusion involves the merging of two or more lighter atoms to create a heavier atom, while fission involves the splitting of a heavy atom into two or more lighter atoms.

2. How does fusion and fission produce energy?

Fusion and fission both produce energy through the conversion of mass into energy, according to Einstein's famous equation E=mc². In fusion, the mass of the combined atoms is slightly less than the mass of the individual atoms, resulting in the release of energy. In fission, the mass of the resulting fragments is also slightly less than the original atom, releasing energy.

3. What are the potential uses of fusion and fission?

Fusion and fission have been primarily used for nuclear power generation, as they are both highly efficient sources of energy. Fusion has the potential to be a virtually unlimited source of clean energy, while fission is currently used to power nuclear reactors that provide electricity to homes and businesses. Both reactions can also be used to produce nuclear weapons.

4. How are fusion and fission reactions controlled?

Fusion and fission reactions are controlled through various methods, such as using control rods to absorb excess neutrons and prevent the reaction from becoming too intense. In fusion, the reaction is controlled by using powerful magnets to contain and stabilize the plasma, maintaining the high temperatures and pressures necessary for the reaction to occur.

5. What are the potential risks of fusion and fission reactions?

Fusion and fission reactions both have potential risks associated with them, including the release of radioactive materials and the possibility of accidents or meltdowns. However, with proper safety precautions and regulations, these risks can be minimized. Fission also produces nuclear waste that must be safely stored, while fusion does not produce long-lived radioactive waste.

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