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Mini sun?

  1. Mar 17, 2005 #1
    In astronomy class i was told that a grouping of hydrogen must reach 10,000,000K for fusion to occur. Without a sun being a certain size, gravity could never be great enough to generate such high temperatures-brown dwarf.

    So, could you artificially accelerate gravity (as in future plans for space stations) to generate enough thermal energy to initiate fusion. A possible solution on how to make a fusion reactor?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2005 #2


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    Are you referring to the plan to rotate the space station so as to simulate gravity? I don't see how that would help someone induce fusion.
  4. Mar 17, 2005 #3


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    In theory, sure. But from an engineering standpoint, no. I'm not sure how much force (pressure) is needed to heat hydrogen to 10000000k, but whatever the force is, it'll be huge, and your contraption must rotate at extremely high, unachieveable speeds. It would probably fly apart long before it reached the proper velocity.
  5. Mar 17, 2005 #4
    Not a contraption, the hydrogen itself. If you spin a space station fast, and if it were large enough you could theoretically produce artificial gravity. So perhaps if you spun a mass of hydrogen fast enough you could generate enough gravity to produce enough inward pressure that could heat the mass of hydrogen to 10millionK so that fusion could occur without the sun needing to be a certain mass.
  6. Mar 17, 2005 #5


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    Contraption meaning you have to put the hydrogen in somethingsince its a gas.
  7. Mar 17, 2005 #6
    That's just absolute nonsense. I'm not even sure where to start... Do you want to spin the hydrogen by itself, without a container?!
  8. Mar 17, 2005 #7
    No, exactly the opposite. If you spin it fast enough it will fly apart. If you try to contain it inside a space station, the space station will fly apart. And you're not 'generating gravity', you're just accelerating something by spinning it (like a centrifuge). As has been pointed out, this is not a pracitcal way to get nuclear fusion.
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