Related topics: plasma

New device in Z machine measures power for nuclear fusion

If you're chasing the elusive goal of nuclear fusion and think you need a bigger reactor to do the job, you first might want to know precisely how much input energy emerging from the wall plug is making it to the heart of ...

Attempting to tame plasmas in fusion

Nuclear fusion, the release of energy when light atomic nuclei merge, is touted as a carbon-free solution to global energy requirements. One potential route to nuclear fusion is inertial confinement. Now a KAUST-led team ...

New world record magnetic field

A group of scientists at the University of Tokyo has recorded the largest magnetic field ever generated indoors—a whopping 1,200 tesla, as measured in the standard units of magnetic field strength.

Diamond capsules improve performance of laser fusion

Osaka University-led researchers demonstrated that the perturbation of laser imprinting on a capsule for nuclear fusion fuel made from stiff and heavy materials was mitigated. Using the latest chemical vapor deposition (CVD) ...

page 1 from 16

Nuclear fusion

In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fusion is the process by which multiple like-charged atomic nuclei join together to form a heavier nucleus. It is accompanied by the release or absorption of energy, which allows matter to enter a plasma state.

The fusion of two nuclei with lower mass than iron (which, along with nickel, has the largest binding energy per nucleon) generally releases energy while the fusion of nuclei heavier than iron absorbs energy; vice-versa for the reverse process, nuclear fission. In the simplest case of hydrogen fusion, two protons have to be brought close enough for their mutual electric repulsion to be overcome by the nuclear force and the subsequent release of energy.

Nuclear fusion occurs naturally in stars. Artificial fusion in human enterprises has also been achieved, although has not yet been completely controlled. Building upon the nuclear transmutation experiments of Ernest Rutherford done a few years earlier, fusion of light nuclei (hydrogen isotopes) was first observed by Mark Oliphant in 1932; the steps of the main cycle of nuclear fusion in stars were subsequently worked out by Hans Bethe throughout the remainder of that decade. Research into fusion for military purposes began in the early 1940s as part of the Manhattan Project, but was not successful until 1952. Research into controlled fusion for civilian purposes began in the 1950s, and continues to this day.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA