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Hydrogen Bombs

  1. Jan 20, 2007 #1
    From what I gather a hydrogen bomb works by exploding a conventional explosive such as TNT which propells fissile Uranium or Plutonium particles at each other which causes fission and this fission causes enough heat to start fusion.

    Then I hear lithium is bombarded with by an electrons which cause it to transform into tritium. My question is how does a lithium atom transform directly into a hydrogen isotope??
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2007 #2


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  4. Jan 20, 2007 #3
    Pressure is needed as well as heat, and for that confinement is a key. Simply suspending an A-bomb inside a vessel of fusion fuel will not work.

  5. Jan 27, 2007 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    2D + 6Li produces the following possible results

    3He + 4He + 01n, Q = 2.56 or 1.8 MeV

    2 4He, Q = 22.4 MeV

    1H + 7Li, Q = 5.0 MeV

    7Be + 01n, Q = 3.4 MeV

    2D + 7Li produces the following possible results

    8Be + 01n, Q = 15.0 MeV

    2 4He + 01n, Q = 15.1 MeV

    Where Q is the energy (as kinetic energy of the products) released from the reaction.

    The second reaction cited by Hurkyl applies to fast neutrons, which would be produced by a fission reaction or D + T reaction. Thermal or slow neutrons are not produced in fission or fusion reactions.

    01n (fast) + 7Li -> 3H + 4He + 01n (slow)

    The fission trigger and fusion reaction chamber are specially configured, of course.
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