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

Need help with direction of where to study, for things related to Nuclear Fusion.

  1. Jul 27, 2011 #1
    I am a junior in high school, and for the past few years nuclear physics has caught my attention. Mainly Nuclear Fusion. I have done some reading on the subject and I have looked around but I am having some difficulties finding what exactly I should start with studying first. Nuclear Fusion is kind of a broad subject. I have come across Quantum physics, all sorts of nuclear physics and chemistry leads, and they are all interesting, but I don't know where to start. And I mean aside from taking all the math and science classes I can in high school. A nudge or a kick in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2011 #2
    Firstly, i assume you've seen this site talking about the ITER project:


    I did a quick Web of Science search (you prob don't have access to this in high school, or maybe you do some schools have good resources these days) and there are a lot of high-end physics and materials science papers.

    Look at super conductors, particularly Nb3Sn which is fabricated in Japan. Try and get your head around BCS (bardeen cooper schrieffer) theory - good luck as it eludes most. Look at difference between Type I and Type II super conductors. This is really interesting and it seems to be key to the project (I say this having spend 15 minutes trawling paper titles).

    But, I'm studying materials science so Superconductors are kind of like porn to me. Some physicists here may have other ideas.

    Also MATHS IS KING and let no one tell you otherwise. You can never take too much maths at high school.
  4. Jul 27, 2011 #3
    I can't tell if you're being serious or not. Are you asking him to understand BCS theory? Yes, because that's a standard approach. Before learning calculus and introductory physics one should learn graduate condensed matter physics...If you want to learn about nuclear fusion technically then learn the pre-requisites.

    - Calculus
    - Mechanics (classical and quantum)
    - Electromagnetism

    These are all undergraduate courses and you'll have to wait to better understand nuclear fusion in the meantime you'll have to rely on the less technical information.
  5. Jul 27, 2011 #4
    Yeah, why not? I'm talking about qualitative not quantitative understanding. Even reading the wikipedia entry on it will help him/her understand or give him/her somewhere to start looking (which I think he was after). Telling him/her to just "do calculus" isn't what he/she wanted. God I hate gender-neutral handles.
  6. Jul 27, 2011 #5
    Thank you, I did find what you, streeters, posted about iter to be interesting, and what I was looking for was more of the qualitative nature, because I know I need to study math and all kinds of sciences. I guess I was looking for more of a narrower subject to start with than nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, or broad subjects like that. But thank you. And it's "he".
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook