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Nuclear Fusion question

  1. Jan 5, 2006 #1
    Okay deuterium consists of 1 proton and 1 neutron and tritium consists of 2 protons and 1 neutron, now if one atom of each, smash together that forms an atom of Helium which consists of 2 proton and 2 neutrons, a 3rd neutron is created and released, how does the 3rd neutron come about?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2006 #2

    Doc Al

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    Tritium has 1 proton and 2 neutrons. (Both deuterium and tritium are isotopes of hydrogen.)
     
  4. Jan 5, 2006 #3

    Astronuc

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    Supplementing what Doc Al mentioned, He3 consists of 2 protons and 1 neutron, and undergoes an aneutronic (i.e. no neutrons) fusion reaction with D.

    d + He3 -> He4 + p

    or

    (1p, 1n) + (2p, 1n) -> (2p, 2n) + p

    Nucleon balance equations, similar to elements (moles) balancing in a chemical equation.
     
  5. Jan 5, 2006 #4
    Thank you, also what i notice is that once the helium atom has formed i lose a proton, i guess that is where i gain a neutron? :confused:
     
  6. Jan 5, 2006 #5

    Doc Al

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    When deuterium and tritium fuse, it goes like this:

    (1p, 1n) + (1p, 2n) -> (2p, 2n) + n

    So you don't "gain" a neutron.
     
  7. Jan 5, 2006 #6
    I'm a bit confused now, Astronuc does:

    (1p, 1n) + (1p, 2n) -> (2p, 2n) + p

    :blushing:
     
  8. Jan 5, 2006 #7

    Astronuc

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    Doc Al did (1p, 1n) + (1p, 2n) -> (2p, 2n) + n

    I did (1p, 1n) + (2p, 1n) -> (2p, 2n) + p
     
  9. Jan 5, 2006 #8

    mathman

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    You misread Astronuc. He had (2p,1n) (or He3) as the second term going in, not (1p,2n) (or H3 or Tritium nucleus).
     
  10. Jan 5, 2006 #9
    I did, sorry about that astro, i just suck at math right now.
     
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