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Essay/Term paper: Nuclear fusion

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Science Research Papers

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Nuclear Fusion

For a fusion reaction to take place, the nuclei, which are positively charged,
must have enough kinetic energy to overcome their electrostatic force of
repulsion. This can occur either when one nucleus is accelerated to high
energies by an accelerating device, or when the energies of both nuclei are
raised by the application of very high temperature. The latter method, referred
to the application of thermonuclear fusion, is the source of a lot of really
cool energy. Enough energy is produced in thermonuclear fusion to suck the paint
of 1 city block of houses and give all of the residents permanent orange Afros.
The sun is a example of thermonuclear fusion in nature. If I was a atom, I could
only wish to be in a thermonuclear reaction. Thermonuclear reactions occur when
a proton is accelerated and collides with another proton and then the two
protons fuse, forming a deuterium nucleus which has a proton, neutrino and lots
of energy. I have no idea what a deuterium nucleus is, but is must be 10 times
cooler than just a regular nucleus. Such a reaction is not self sustaining
because the released energy is not readily imparted to other nuclei.
thermonuclear fusion of deuterium and tritium will produce a helium nucleus and
an energetic neutron that can help sustain further fusion. This is the basic
principal of the hydrogen bomb which employs a brief, controlled thermonuclear
fusion reaction. This was also how the car in the Back to the Future movie
worked. It had a much more sophisticated system of producing a fusion reaction
from things like, old coffee grounds, bananas, and old beer cans. Thermonuclear
reactions depend on high energies, and the possibility of a low-temperature
nuclear fusion has generally been discounted. Little does the scientific
community know about my experiments. I have produced cold fusion in my basement
with things like: stale bread, milk, peanut butter and flat Pepsi. I have been
able to produce a ten-megaton reaction which as little as a saltine cracker and
some grass clippings. But enough about my discoveries. Early in 1989 two
electrochemists startled the scientific world by claiming to achieve a room-
temperature fusion in a simple laboratory. They had little proof to back up
their discovery, and were not credited with their so-called accomplishment. The
two scientists were Stanley Pons of the university of Utah and Martin
Fleischmann of the University of Southampton in England. They described their
experiment as involving platinum electrodes an electrochemical cell in which
palladium and platinum were immersed in heavy water. These two losers said that
the cell produced more heat than could be accounted for. Yeah right!! The week
before I was talking to both men on the phone and I told them about all of the
cool things you could do with platinum. I said "Now Martin, what you need to do
is get your hands on some platinum and some heavy Mexican drinking water. The
amount of chemicals in the Mexican drinking water is sure to cause a violent
reaction with the platinum electrodes and produce lots of energy. I have been
doing this sort of things in my basement for years." When I told him that
though that NASA could power their shuttles with this sort of a reaction, he
nearly wet his pants. Now as usual, I received no credit for MY discovery, but
that is ok..I have grown used to it. I taught Einstein, Newton, and Ron Popeel
(inventor of things like the pasto-matic, hair-in-a-can, and the pocket
fisherman) everything they know. Besides, the two shmucks didn"t even follow my
instructions for the experiment. However, until I reveal my secrets about cold
fusion, it will remain only a proposed theory. nuclear fusion is also what
powers the rest of the stars in the solar system. Stars carry out fusion in a
thermonuclear manner. Thermonuclear is a really cool word which I am going to
use several more times just because it is so cool. In a thermonuclear reaction
matter is forced to exist in only in a plasma state, consisting of electrons,
positive ions and very few neutral atoms. Fusion reactions that occur within a
plasma serve to heat it further, because the portion of the reaction product is
transferred to the bulk of the plasma through collisions. In the deuterium-
tritium reaction the positively charged helium nucleus carries 3.5 MeV. The
neutron escaped the plasma with little interaction and , in a reaction, could
deposit its 14.1 MeV in a surrounding lithium blanket. I have know idea what
that last sentence meat, but I am going to memorize it, because I will sound
super smart if I tell someone about the neutrons activity in a plasma
thermonuclear reaction. The neutrons activity would breed tritium and also heat
as a exchange medium which could be used to produce steam to turn generator
turbines. However, the plasma also loses thermal energy though a variety of
processes: conduction, convection, and bremsstrachlng which is electromagnetic
radiation about 1000 times stronger than the microwave in your kitchen.

Bermsstrachlng is the electromagnetic energy which is produced by the
deceleration of a charged particle. Energy also escapes in the reaction through
line radiation from electrons undergoing level transitions in heavier impurities,
and through losses of hot nuclei that capture an election and escape and
confining field. Ignition occurs when the energy deposited within the plasma by
fusion reactions equals or exceeds the energy being lost. In order to achieve
ignition, plasma must be combined and heated. Obviously, a plasma at millions
of degrees is not comparable with an ordinary confining wall, but the effect of
this incompatibility is not the destruction of the wall as might be expected.
I have found that if one uses Corning Ware in a microwave set on high, plasma
can take place quite safely. It is important to note that tupperware is not
suited well for thermonuclear reactions, and is best left to use to store
weapons grade plutonium in. I find that the air tight lids work simply
splendidly in keeping all of that nasty glowing radioactive dust to a minimum in
my room.. Although the temperature of a thermonuclear plasma is very high and
the power flowing through it may be quite large the stored energy is relatively
small and would quickly be radiated away by impurities if the plasma touched a
wall and began to vaporize it. A thermonuclear plasma is thus self-limiting,
because any significant contact with the vessel housing causes it"s extinction
within a few thousandths of a second. Therefore, plasma must be carefully
housed and handled while it is occurring (For further information on plasma
refer to the 2 essay in my series entitled "Why Plasma Is So Cool").

Most of the research dealing with fusion since 1950 has used magnetic fields to
contain the charged particles that constitute a plasma. The density required in
magnetic-confinement fusion is much lower than atmospheric density, so the
plasma vessel is evacuated and them filled with the hydrogen-isotope fuel at
0.0000000. What is the deal with all of those zeros? I mean it means the same
as 0..It must be one of those wacky science thingys. Sort of like why
inflammable and flammable mean the same thing. Who knows. Anyway, Magnetic-
field configurations fall into two typed: open and closed. Wow, that was real
obvious. In an open configuration, the charged particles, which are spiraling
along magnetic field lines maintained by a solenoid, are reflected at each end
of a cell by stronger magnetic fields. I have found in my research that if one
used a 9-volt battery (preferably from a old smoke detector) the reaction takes
place much more efficiently. In this simplest type of mirror machine, many
particles that have most of their velocity parallel to the solenoidal magnetic
field are not reflected and can escape. This is a real problem for me when ever
I try to perform a thermonuclear fission reaction. I have yet to find a
solution to the problem, but for now stale Trident chewing gum works as a
acceptable improvision for the problem. Present day mirror machines retard this
loss by using additional cells to set up electrostatic potentials that help
confine the hot ions within the central solenoidal field. In a Closed reaction,
the magnetic-field lines along which charged particles move are continuous
within the plasma. This closure has most commonly taken the form of a toros, or
doughnut shape, and the most common example is the tokamak. In a tokmak the
primary confining field is totoidal and is produced by coils of surrounding the
vacuum vessel. Other coils cause current to flow through the plasma by
induction. This toroidally flowing current wraps itself around the plasma. Is
it just me, or are there a lot of really useless big words. I mean, totoidally,
what is this? My only thought is that is one of those many wacky science terms
that people who you see on the Discovery Channel would use. The poloidal
magnetic field, at right angles, that stronger toroidal field, acting together,
yield magnetic field lines that spiral around the torus. This spiring ensures
that a particle spends equal amounts of time above and below the totoidal
midplane, thus canceling the effects of a vertical drift that occurs because
magnetic field is stronger on the inside of the torus than on the outside.

Another cool thing about thermonuclear plasma is that a certain type of plasma
called Tokmak plasma can be heated to temperatures of 10-15 million k by the
current flowing in the plasma. Imagine how quick one could broil chicken. In
less than ½ seconds, you could have a perfectly golden brown and tender chicken
ready for dinner. At higher temperature the plasma resistance becomes too low
for this method to be effective, and heating is accomplished by injecting beams
of very energetic neural particles into the plasma. These ionize, become
trapped, and transfer their energy to the build plasma through collisions.
Alternatively, radio frequency waves are launched into the plasma at frequencies
that resonate with various periodic particle motions. The waves give energy to
these resonant particles, which then transfer it to the rest of the plasma
through collisions. In some of my most recent expirations I have been able to
use radio frequency waves to push electrons around the tokmak to maintain the
plasma current. Such noninductive current drive allows the tokamak pulse to
outlast the time limitly imposed by the fact that , in a transformer-driven
tokmak reaction thingy, the plasma current lasts only as long as the current in
the secondary coils reach their current limits, confinement is lost, and the
plasma terminates until the transformer can be reset. Although the plasma in as
inductively driven tokamak is pulsed, the electricity produced would not ve,
because the thermal inertia of the neutron-capturing blanket would sustain
stream generation between pulses. By allowing longer pulse or steady-state
plasma operation, however, radio frequency current drive could lessen the
thermal stresses in the fusion reaction. However, so far cooking with plasma
has not been to practical for me. Another approach to fusion pusued since
about 1974, is termed inertial confinement. During my many patrols during the
Viet..-NAM war, I further developed my theory"s and opinions regarding inertial
confinement fusion. When I arrived home with a severely hyper-extended earlobe,
I was in great pain and suffering, but I still managed to explain my findings to
the scientific community. essentially, my theory of inertial confinement fusion
works similar to how the atomic bomb works. A small pellet of frozen deuterium
and tritium are compressed to a very high temperature and densities in a process
analogous to what is accomplished by bombarding the pellet from all sides,
simultaneously with a really intense laser. I nearly put my eye out with the
thing. It is certainty not a toy. Anyway, back to fusion. After you have nuked
the pellet thing with the super laser thingy, the pellet vaporizes and, by
mechanical reaction, imparts inwardly directed momentum to their remaining
pellet core. The inertia of the inwardly driven pellet material must be
sufficient to localize the power of -9 seconds required to get significant
energy release. In 1988, after my defeat in the presidential election, I helped
the government preform underground tests in the Nevada desert. I had showed the
government how to do this type of experiment in 1986, but it took them two years
before they could get it right. I think that their chief nuclear engineers name
was Forrest or something..Man what a idiot. He just could not get it right.
Once again, people took credit for my discovery. The miniminum confinement
condition necessary to achieve energy gain in a deuterium-tritium plasma is that
of the product of the density in ions per cubic cm and energy containment time
in seconds must exceed 6x10 -13th power. This was attained for the first time
in a hydrogen plasma at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. The
temperature required to ignite a fusion reactor is in the range of 100-250
million k, several times the temperature of the center of the sun. What? How
can you have a reaction several times the suns central temperature in a enclosed
plasma environment? Is this some kind of wacky scientist joke or something?
Anyway, the science geeks at M.I.T supposedly did produce this kind of fusion.

The goal on fusion is in effect, to produce and hold a small star. It is a
daunting and tedious research which is considered to be of the most advanced in
the world. Creating a small dwarf star in a man-made environment has thought to
be the highest scientific challenge. Even though last weekend my little brother
and I did create several dwarf stars, we were forced to put them out because the
neighbors kept complaining about the light. The cop was a real jerk. I tried
explaining to him what I was doing, but he kept asking me to do stupid things
like: stand on 1 leg and recite the alphabet backwards, and touch my nose with
my finger. Apparently the cop though that I was getting smart with him when I
started to explain to him about the beauty of fission energy. Oh well, at least
he didn"t arrest me..again...


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