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Laser Fusion

  1. Feb 28, 2008 #1
    Does anyone understand the physics that is used to explain this relatively new research project on use of laser fusion for energy production ?:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/may/30/energy.nuclearindustry

    From what they say, it appears they propose to use laser energy to "fuse" together hydrogen isotopes--but how and what isotopes--how is this explained by Standard Model? Any comments are appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2008 #2

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Sounds like Inertial Confinement in which an ablative outer layer is superheated with the lasers. The resulting microexplosion then drives the hydrogen into compression and high temperature at which fusion is possible. This is basic physics, and certainly not beyond the standard model.

    The high temperatures imply that nuclei are free and traveling at sufficiently high velocity to overcome the Coulomb repulsion. Some portion of the nuclei will fuse, e.g. D + T => He-4 + n.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  4. Feb 28, 2008 #3
    Thank you Astronuc. But could also be:

    D + D => He-4, or
    T + T => He-4 + 2n (halo), or
    P + D => He-3, or
    P + T => He-4, or
    P + T => He-3 + n

    or any combination above, correct ?
     
  5. Mar 1, 2008 #4

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Actually D+D -> T + p, or He-3 + n, then D + T -> He-4 + n and D+He-3 -> He-4 + p.
     
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