The Wonder of Science : Fusion

New Science Energy Technology
image
I happen to know a brainy man who has posted on his Facebook page some details of a breakthrough in Fusion energy as achieved in America by some Scientists.

The Secrets out then as written up on news.sciencemmag.org as

Exclusive: Secretive fusion company claims reactor breakthrough

So questions arose and the post advisor wrote the following –

Fusion for beginners
The key to nuclear fusion and the potential of energy release is the binding energy in the nuclei and famous Einstein mass energy relation. The binding energy is what it takes to disassemble a nucleus into it components parts, I.e. Protons neutrons (please see http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/nucbin.html)

The binding energy for nuclei of lighter than Iron is much smaller compared to higher Z ones and this in fact is the difference between nuclear fusion and fission process (where atoms split like 235U in conventional fission reactors).

Therefore in fusion process for the two light atoms are fused to form a nucleus with higher binding energy thus releasing energy according to E=mc2.

There are many fusion process that can take place however the problem relies on igniting such a reaction.

The solution will be through producing a high initial kinetic energy impulse that can be used to overcome the coulomb repulsion (since two equal charges repel each other, this need to be overcome for fusion to take place) and only can be at higher temperates, done either in a controlled way with reactors or thermonuclear combustible. Now the beauty is to do it in a controlled way.

When the temperature is very high the hot ionised conducting gas has the chance to have high thermal velocity and overcome the repulsion force (there are other processes if the temperature is not right to overcome the problem such as tunnelling we will ignore those for the present.)

However at these conditions they tend to fly apart and be unstable so there should be a way to keep them together.

In fact there are two path ways to achieve fusion, Inertial Confident Fusion known as ICF (that sort of things we do in Queen’s with laser) and Magnetic Confinement Fusion known as MCF.

MCF does this at low densities and over a relatively long time whereas ICF is quite the opposite (ICF known to do more with weapon research, please see National Ignition Facility).

In MCF the plasma tends to be confined through using a magnetic field as mentioned in the article and requires to avoid touching the wall due to millions of degrees it has.
On the subject of instabilities which the lay person might raise, there are two ways it can these occur, one is through the collision process when a particle(s) move away from their trajectory and second by disturbances through perturbations i.e. change in pressure.

This can be occurred with tiny mechanical failures/changes in magnetic force surrounding the plasma leading to pressure change and in the change in actual ring formation.

Hence the nature of safe enclosure being the primary goal before it’s utilisation.

The means is forming of a stable environment for very high levels of ‘mobile’ energy.

What this company introduces is the H+11B leading to 4He, which is a dream reaction.

So there you have it.

An explanation of the processes which will potentially change our lives.

As a footnote I add another energy related subject I recently became aware of concerning salt.

Other advances touch on this as techniques from different fields of Science Around energy contribute to one another.

For example salt and sea desalination techniques are also a source of energy release and the process is now enabled at less bar – pressure – virtually nil – as to be a massive benefit where water shortages are occuring and with water access – (Water Aid are a charity dealing right now with this issue) – becoming critical as populations increase; are sometimes remote from fresh water resources for changing reasons, the techniques have dual outcomes – fresh water and energy from the salt.

Salt. An Amazing Mineral!
Find your answers their out there!

John Graham

27 August 2015

Belfast

A return to much more mundane and escapist things again soon.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s