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Fusing electrons?

  1. Jul 6, 2010 #1
    I just saw a thread about "easier" methods of nuclear fusion. I have a concept of my own, but I'm not well enough read on plasma and particle physics to know if it would work.

    Basically, my idea is nuclear fusion minus the nuclear; instead of fusing hydrogen isotopes, fuse electrons. From what little I understand of the process, each nucleon has a mass roughly 10000 greater than electrons, so would that mean that electrons require less energy to overcome the Coulomb force and fuse them, or would that mean you need an even stronger magnetic field since the strong force and gravity aren't as much in play?

    The other question that occurs to me is that, given circular particle accelerators of equal energy, electrons will emit more Bremsstrahlung radiation than protons, so does that mean one of the problems with fusion reactors today (the strength of the shielding) would be magnified in any "electron fusion reactor?"
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2010 #2


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    Fusion produces energy through release of nuclear binding energy, i.e., the excess energy released in the form of kinetic energy of the products as the nucleon reform/restructure into more bound states. Electrons would not do this.
  4. Jul 6, 2010 #3
    The primary proponent you're missing if it were possible is that the mass of an electron is so infinitesimal that the Energy production would be extremely unsubstantial. As opposed to an Isotope of Deuterium which is far more massive - E=mc2.
    Astronuc, is fusion of elementary particles feasible?
  5. Jul 6, 2010 #4


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    We collide elementary particles, including electrons, and we create particle-antiparticle pairs. But the energies are so enourmous (high MeV/ low GeV range) that it would be impractical as an energy source.

    Fusion is accomplished at relatively low (keV range) energies. 1 eV = 11605 K, or 1 keV = 11,605,000 K. The fusion reaction produces kinetic energies in the low MeV range.

    Fusion works because nuclei/nucleons are composite particles. Nuclei are composed of nucleons, and nucleons are composed of quarks. There is no comparable composite particle based on electrons.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  6. Jul 6, 2010 #5
    Are there any books I could get to study up on this?
  7. Jun 23, 2012 #6
    i dont believe electron fusion has been studied very much and many physicists believe it is impossible. The fact of the matter of is it might be very possible and as far as electrons being "elementary" the atom was thought to be the same, then we figured out there are nucleons and electrons, then we those were elementary, until we figured out there were also protons and neutrons. then we thought those were elementary, until we discovered they were made of quarks. The point i'm making is we have no idea what is elementary, and the answer maybe nothing. Smaller bits could in fact make up the electron, perhaps strings. what is the binding force of those? perhaps it would be many orders of magnitude greater than that of quarks.

    We simply don't know.

    Lets stop acting like we do.
  8. Jun 23, 2012 #7


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    And you should stop acting as if you know these things. For example, can you show us the binding energy curve for electron-electron fusion that will cause this to occur?

    Simply saying that we don't know everything and throwing out dubious possibilities is NOT science - it is throwing things in the dark. It requires ZERO knowledge of physics to do that. In physics, when one proposes something, there must be an impetus, based on established physics, that such a thing is possible. This has not been established for the so-called electron-electron fusion, i.e. the binding energy curve.

    Till that is established, then promoting such a thing is overly-speculative and in direct violation of the PF Rules.

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