Plasma fusion vs nuclear fusion

  • #1
shushi_boi
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What is the general difference between the two (for someone who is still new to nuclear physics) and which one produces the highest net energy? Which of these has the highest potential for the future?
 

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  • #2
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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What is the general difference between the two (for someone who is still new to nuclear physics) and which one produces the highest net energy? Which of these has the highest potential for the future?
Fusion is a nuclear process in which two nuclei combine (at high temperature, which results in a plasma) and reform into two new nuclei, or a nucleus and a particle(s), which releases some of the nuclear energy in the form of kinetic energy of the products.

We do not talk about plasma fusion, since it is already understood that fusion takes place in a high temperature plasma, which is high temperature in the sense that the atoms are fully ionized (easiest in hydrogen (deuterium, tritium)). The plasma consists of the nuclei and free electrons. The nuclei and electrons produce a pressure.

Temperatures are in the keV range, and 1 eV = 11605 K roughly, so 10 keV = 116,500,000 K.
 

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