Hydrogen Bombs

Main Question or Discussion Point

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??
 

Answers and Replies

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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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)


Simply suspending an A-bomb inside a vessel of fusion fuel will not work.
The fission trigger and fusion reaction chamber are specially configured, of course.
 

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