When two deuterium nuclei are shot at each other they have some

  • Thread starter edpell
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  • #1
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When two deuterium nuclei are shot at each other they have some probability of fusing into a He nuclei. At the start we have a proton and a neutron in a potential well 1 MeV deep and another proton and neutron in another well 1 MeV deep. At the end we have two protons and two neutrons all in a well 7 MeV deep. At which point a 24 MeV phton can be emitted.

My question is what happens in between? Is there a time when the four particles are in a well 2MeV deep, 3MeV, etc. And why don't they radiate lower energy photons as the well forms? Why do they wait until the end to radiate one high energy photon?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Classical descriptions don't work well for such a process.

The emission of a single photon is the lowest-order process and therefore the most likely one, but it can happen that more photons are emitted.
The formation of He-4 is a rare outcome anyway, tritium plus proton or He-3 plus neutron are more common - this process can happen via the strong interaction.
 

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