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I Pressures required for nuclear fusion

  1. Aug 21, 2016 #1
    I know that to achieve fusion one has to satisfy the Lawson criterion. My question is: can fusion be achieved only by generating very high pressures but keeping the system at room temperature, or does it necessarily require a combination of both high pressures and high temperatures? If by some miraculous design one could apply a pressure of 1 Million Megabars to a tiny volume of D-T gas, would that be enough or are temperatures of millions of degrees also required? I can't find anywhere the data for the D-T reaction cross-section as a function of pressure but at room temperature....

    Thanks,

    Gabriele
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2016 #2

    mfb

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    Only for self-sufficient fusion without continuous heating. But you have to get at least close to it to get relevant fusion.

    There is no realistic way to get a high pressure without a high temperature on any reasonable timescale, but eventually you'll get fusion even in that case.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2016 #3

    mathman

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    Laser fusion uses extremely high pressure, without any particular heating.
     
  5. Aug 21, 2016 #4

    mfb

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    The compression still heats up the fuel.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2016 #5

    mathman

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    You are right. The point I was trying to make is that the fuel is not heated for the fusion to take place. The compression is the main mechanism.
     
  7. Aug 23, 2016 #6
    Thank you for you replies. I therefore understand that high-temperatures are not a pre-requisite for fusion to take place, high-pressures alone can be enough, but often high temperatures are a by-product of the high-pressure compression due to the way the fuel capsule behaves and its equation of state...

    G
     
  8. Aug 24, 2016 #7
    When ideal gas is adiabatically compressed, the ratio of final and initial temperature is determined by the compression ratio, and independent of the initial temperature.

    What happens when a solid is adiabatically compressed?
     
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