Small-scale nuclear fusion may be a new energy source

September 25, 2015

Fusion energy may soon be used in small-scale power stations. This means producing environmentally friendly heating and electricity at a low cost from fuel found in water. Both heating generators and generators for electricity could be developed within a few years, according to research that has primarily been conducted at the University of Gothenburg.

Nuclear fusion is a process whereby atomic nuclei melt together and release energy. Because of the low binding energy of the tiny atomic nuclei, energy can be released by combining two small nuclei with a heavier one.

A collaboration between researchers at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Iceland has been to study a new type of nuclear fusion process. This produces almost no but instead fast, heavy electrons (muons), since it is based on nuclear reactions in ultra-dense (deuterium).

"This is a considerable advantage compared to other nuclear fusion processes which are under development at other research facilities, since the neutrons produced by such processes can cause dangerous flash burns," says Leif Holmlid, Professor Emeritus at the University of Gothenburg.

No radiation

The new fusion process can take place in relatively small laser-fired fusion reactors fuelled by heavy hydrogen (deuterium). It has already been shown to produce more energy than that needed to start it. Heavy hydrogen is found in large quantities in ordinary water and is easy to extract. The dangerous handling of radioactive heavy hydrogen (tritium) which would most likely be needed for operating large-scale fusion reactors with a magnetic enclosure in the future is therefore unnecessary.

"A considerable advantage of the fast heavy electrons produced by the new process is that these are charged and can therefore produce electrical energy instantly. The energy in the neutrons which accumulate in large quantities in other types of is difficult to handle because the neutrons are not charged. These neutrons are high-energy and very damaging to living organisms, whereas the fast, heavy electrons are considerably less dangerous."

Neutrons are difficult to slow down or stop and require reactor enclosures that are several metres thick. Muons - fast, - decay very quickly into ordinary electrons and similar particles.

Research shows that far smaller and simpler can be built. The next step is to create a generator that produces instant electrical .

Explore further: A new clean nuclear fusion reactor has been designed

More information: "Spontaneous Ejection of High-Energy Particles from Ultra-Dense Deuterium D(0)". International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 40 (2015) 10559-10567. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.06.116

"Muon Detection studied by Pulse-Height Energy Analysis: Novel Converter Arrangements". Review of Scientific Instruments 86, 083306 (2015). DOI: 10.1063/1.4928109

"Heat Generation above Break-Even from Laser-Induced Fusion in Ultra-Dense Deuterium". AIP Advances 5, 087129 (2015); DOI: 10.1063/1.4928572

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8 comments

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EyeNStein
3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Research shows that far smaller and simpler fusion reactors can be built. The next step is to create a generator that produces instant electrical energy


I didn't know that the Easter bunny and Tooth Fairy did research now??
NoStrings
4 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2015
It was a very exciting article title. However, reading the article and 3 original articles via the links provided, shows that this is a hoax, and/or a mistake in measurements and/or calculations.

Also, even if this were true, the ability to harness any positive energy output would be made impossible by the low temperatures differential that the apparatus can achieve while maintaining this alleged high density of D - which is in the first place very doubtful. If it really happened, it would be very interesting at least from theoretical perspective. But spin state transfer from a low energy, long wavelength laser pulse - let me be nice and say: non sequitur.
tyy
1 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2015
Is this actually happening?

I mean, Phys.org of course is not where you expect to find only factual articles, but this is not even wrong.

T
Egleton
3 / 5 (2) Sep 27, 2015
Come off it.
There is nothing in the links that suggests a hoax Knut.
Cold fusion is real.
So are paid company hacks.
Psychopaths all.
jimbo92107
not rated yet Sep 28, 2015
I suppose if you gather common phrases used in the many articles on nuclear fusion, you could recombine them using a random phrase generator to arrive at something like this article. Further combine that with random phrases from Deepak Chopra, and you'd have a new age fusion generator. Add one more corporate jargon generator, and you have Alan Greenspan.

After all, centralized impactful utilisation is nothing short of a condensing evolution of mystical will. While organisational culture takes the world for granted, imagination explores an abundance of phenomena, including new forms of nuclear fusion.

I googled "scientific jargon generator" and found several interesting sites, including this:

https://pdos.csai.../scigen/

The potential for chatbots and phrase generators to poop out megatons of blue sky should not be underestimated. At what point will such toys make sites like this unreadable?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Sep 28, 2015
but this is not even wrong
Aping fashionable phrases is meant to indicate your unique insight? If you follow the links above you will find articles which would be very hard to hoax.
shavera
5 / 5 (1) Sep 28, 2015
The second article listed skips over any discussion of how they propose muons are produced in the material, to my read. In the theory section, they talk about generic properties of this "ultra-dense hydrogen" matter they're discussing, then skip ahead to how muons alter the energy of such matter... but never at all resolve the question of how the hydrogen supposedly creates muons.

Furthermore, in their discussion of experimental measurements, I don't see any discussion about measuring the mass of these energetic particles to distinguish electrons from muons, just an assertion that what they're seeing is muons.

Color me skeptical.
shavera
5 / 5 (1) Sep 28, 2015
Also, I can't find a single paper from a source other than this one author at the University of Goethenburg. Is there any reproducibility to these papers?

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