Pressures required for nuclear fusion

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

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
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I know that to achieve fusion one has to satisfy the Lawson criterion.
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.
 
  • #3
mathman
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Laser fusion uses extremely high pressure, without any particular heating.
 
  • #4
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The compression still heats up the fuel.
 
  • #5
mathman
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The compression still heats up the fuel.
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.
 
  • #6
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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
 
  • #7
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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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