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Question regarding fusion reaction containment and procedure

  1. Feb 7, 2017 #1
    Good evening,
    I am new to this forum and do not have a strong physics background. So if my questions seem woefully inept please respond with a simple laymans answer.

    I understand that there are 2 basic ideas for fusion containment, and that the main 2 components of any successful fusion reaction is a ton of heat, and a ton of pressure. The Sun I know is an example of this, and happens to get away with less heat than man made fusion reactions due to its massive size which means that the particles that do happen to react are much more likely to hit each other than in our small man made reactions.

    It is my understanding then, that pressure is paramount with a fusion reaction.

    My basic question then involves a physics article I was reading. People were able to create the fastest spinning disk ever made by having a tiny calcium crystal suspended in a vacuum spin at speeds of 600million rpm. Why couldn't hydrogen gas or a similar fuel be spun at these speeds in a disk in order to create compression? From my very basic understanding, this would create enough compression that much less heat would be required for the fusion of the heated plasma. Of course the disk would have to be in a vacuum and would require a levitating force such as a magnetic field. Kind of like a tiny tire made of graphene filled with hydrogen. What role would friction between the spinning disk and the hydrogen play?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2017 #2


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    Gold Member

    A diamond anvil press will do 100 million psi, apparently just enough to make hydrogen a metallic solid, but no fusion sadly enough, because as you say,.
    it takes more than pressure, it also takes very energetic atomic motion, aka high temperature, to get the atoms energetic enough to fuse.
    Spinning something makes it tend to fly apart, unless it is held together by some force. Unfortunately, no known material can hold together under such strain.
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