Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Fusion and Fission grail

  1. Aug 30, 2005 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2018 Award

    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?

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook