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

I Nuclear fusion D-D reaction

  1. Aug 21, 2016 #1
    I'm having trouble understand a passage in our book.
    The author claims that the reaction
    ##^2H+^2H \to ^4He + \gamma##
    is unlikely since the ##Q## value is large (##23.8## MeV) which happens to be greater than both the neutron and proton separation energies.

    This seem very counter intuitive to me. Shouldn't a large ##Q## value rather make the reaction more probably?

    We also have the D-T reaction
    ##^2H+^3H \to ^4He +n## with ##Q=17.6##
    that for some reason is more probable but I really don't see the difference.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2016 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    3He + n and 3H + p are more likely as they don't involve the emission of a photon and work via the strong interaction only. They should also have a larger phase space.
     
  4. Aug 22, 2016 #3
    That makes some sense but then I wonder why
    ##^2H+ \; ^1H \to \; ^3He + \gamma##
    and
    ##2 \; ^3 He \to \; ^4He +2 \; ^1H+ \gamma##
    are part of the p-p chain as opposed to for example
    ##^2H+ \; ^1H \to \; ^3H+p##
    Shouldn't these by the same reasoning be unlikely?
     
  5. Aug 22, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Your last equation creates a neutron out of nowhere.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2016 #5
    That's embarrassing,I tried to come up with an example.

    But for the other two reactions is the reasoning here that they are indeed unlikely but there just isn't anything more probably around either? Not that gives a reaction chain with enough released energy to be a significant part of the powering of a star in any case.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2016 #6

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Your first two equations involve the weak interaction. This makes them rare.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2016 #7

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    @Vanadium 50: None of the reactions involve the weak interaction.

    2H + 1H -> 3He + photon is the only reaction that is possible with those hydrogen nuclei.
    3He + 3He -> 4He + 1H + 1H can work without photons.
     
  9. Aug 22, 2016 #8

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    You're right. I looked at 3He and thought "tritium". Dumb of me.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Nuclear fusion D-D reaction
  1. Nuclear fusion (Replies: 7)

  2. Nuclear fusion (Replies: 1)

  3. Fusion reaction (Replies: 6)

  4. D-D fusion products (Replies: 14)

Loading...