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Tau-Catalyzed Fusion

  1. Dec 2, 2006 #1
    It is known from both theory and experiment that muon-catalyzed fusion of light isotopes occurs--see this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion. But my question--is Tau-Catalyzed Fusion also predicted by theory, let us say between the proton nucleus [P] and deuteron nucleus[NP]? Experiment shows that energy released from muon-catalyzed fusion of [P]+[NP] yields [helium-3] + gamma ray + ~5.5 MeV energy (Alvarez et al. Phy. Rev. 105, 1127 (1956)). Would tau-catalyzed fusion yield same energy result ? Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2006 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    The energy release from Tau catalyzed fusion would be the same as in mu catalyzed fusion because the energy release depends on the hadrons.
    The tau being heavier than the muon would be a more effective catalyst EXCEPT that the tau is so short lived (3X10^{-13} seconds) that most taus would decay before they could be captured to catalyze. The mu can live to catalyze because it has an anomalously long lifetime.
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