Refer to aneutronic reactions as though they are fusion

  • Thread starter cdhuntsman
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I have been reading about fusors. The articles usually refer to aneutronic reactions as though they are fusion. But are they really? For example, the pB11 reaction yields He, but this is some sort of fission isn't it? I.e. we start of with a heavier isotope and produce lighter ones through particle bombardment (only with protons instead of neutrons as in a fission reactor). Can someone explain why the view is the way it is?
 

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Astronuc
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cdhuntsman said:
I have been reading about fusors. The articles usually refer to aneutronic reactions as though they are fusion. But are they really? For example, the pB11 reaction yields He, but this is some sort of fission isn't it? I.e. we start of with a heavier isotope and produce lighter ones through particle bombardment (only with protons instead of neutrons as in a fission reactor). Can someone explain why the view is the way it is?
That's a good question. However, the proton fuses with the nucleus of B11 forming an energetic C12 atom, which does more or less fission into three He nuclei, which are heavier than the p, but lighter than B11. But the initial reaction is fusion.

On the other hand, in fission, a neutron 'fuses' with a fissile nucleus, e.g. U235 or Pu239. I suppose the focus then was on the fissioning of the heavier nucleus into lighter nuclei and other neutrons.
 

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