Using muon-catalyzation toward Island of Stability?

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Hi, I'm an amateur observer of nuclear physics, so I'm curious about how larger and larger elements are produced in particle accelerators. Like for example, they've created elements all of the way upto element 118 now, I guess? Like when they get Plutonium from Uranium, do they bombard with neutrons, or bombard with alpha particles? Using neutrons, some of the neutrons would decay into protons, I suppose. Using alpha particles, you would automatically have two extra protons and neutrons inside the nucleus. And is this also how they keep building towards larger elements than Plutonium?

Now my second question would be, have they considered using Muon-catalyzation as a method of making larger and larger elements, heading towards the so called Island of Stability? For example, could they use Muon catalyzation to bring some truly large atomic nuclei (bigger than an alpha particle) together to fuse? Like for example, fusing a Lead nucleus to Uranium? Or even fusing two Uranium together?
 

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mathman
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I have no idea how it would be used in the creation of heavy nuclei, since the theory is for use in fusion reactors.
 
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Muon-catalyzed fusion works for hydrogen only. A muon shields a charge of 1 only, and getting multiple muons in an atom within their short lifetime is unrealistic. Once you have an accelerator you can directly deliver the necessary energy for a collision.

Neutrons are a great method to create elements just a bit beyond uranium, especially plutonium and americium. They don't help for the superheavy nuclei - you need months for the process in a nuclear reactor but the nuclei just live for seconds or less.
 
  • #6
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Muon-catalyzed fusion works for hydrogen only. A muon shields a charge of 1 only, and getting multiple muons in an atom within their short lifetime is unrealistic. Once you have an accelerator you can directly deliver the necessary energy for a collision.

Neutrons are a great method to create elements just a bit beyond uranium, especially plutonium and americium. They don't help for the superheavy nuclei - you need months for the process in a nuclear reactor but the nuclei just live for seconds or less.
When they send heavy nuclei through an accelerator (e.g. gold), aren't they completely stripped of all of their electrons? If so, then after stripping away the electrons, what if they shotgun a barrage of muons towards them, and their entire orbital cloud would be filled by muons. Since the muons would be going at relativistic speeds, their lifetimes would be extended.
 
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When they send heavy nuclei through an accelerator (e.g. gold), aren't they completely stripped of all of their electrons?
Typically, but it depends on the application.
If so, then after stripping away the electrons, what if they shotgun a barrage of muons towards them, and their entire orbital cloud would be filled by muons.
Where would you get such a muon source from?
And where is the point? We can make the nuclei collide directly - the energy is provided by the accelerator.
 
  • #8
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Where would you get such a muon source from?
And where is the point? We can make the nuclei collide directly - the energy is provided by the accelerator.
Well, I don't know how they make the muons, but I've always assumed that they make millions of them at a time.

As for what the point is, wouldn't this make it easier to create the superheavy nuclei to jump to the Island of Stability rather than slowly approach it?
 
  • #9
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Well, I don't know how they make the muons, but I've always assumed that they make millions of them at a time.
Millions don't help you, the probability that a muon is caught by one particular nucleus is tiny.
As for what the point is, wouldn't this make it easier to create the superheavy nuclei to jump to the Island of Stability rather than slowly approach it?
No. See above: Accelerators can easily deliver enough energy. Lowering the required energy doesn't help.
 
  • #10
I studied to use muons as catalyzer of fusion reactors and as long it is needed 150MeV to generate them and the enhancement of fusion was 25% I decided not to go on that.
Another way I tried is to generate a small magnetic black hole to generate fusion inside but giant kilotesla fields wastes a lot of energy due radiation and eroded all electrodes, wolframium toriated included due hundred amps were released

probability that a muon is caught by one particular nucleus is tiny
Yes, the cross section is small you should have to compress the matter more than 10 times
 

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