Showing posts with label nuclear fusion diagram. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nuclear fusion diagram. Show all posts

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Why nuclear fusion is scarier than dating tayor swift ??

ya, it is scary if you are up to date in the knowledge of nuclear fusion, from atom bombs and nuclear reactors to our godfather SUN and trillions and trillions of other stars, nuclear fusion is related or I should say it a primary driving force behind outcomes they entail.

nuclear fussion in sunn

so I'm gonna tell you about a process which is there in most part of our universe, for a facts of such a high value you must be paying me billions if not trillions and you are here giving me not even a penny !! jokes lets get started "why nuclear fusion is scarier than dating Taylor Swift".


 nuclear fusion is a process in which two or more nuclei are joined together to make one or more nuclei or subatomic particles(proton, neutron). now whenever this happens, new nuclei formed are somewhat heavier or lighter than original ones

a difference in masses is converted into energy release or energy absorption. this difference in masses occurs due to differences in binding energy between the nucleus before and after the collision, fusion is the process which powers the stars

a fusion process which yields particles lighter than iron 56 or nickel 62 results into energy release, whereas it will result in energy retention by resulting nucleons when otherwise is the case

which means the lighter elements like are more fusible and heavier elements like uranium and thorium are more fissionable. extreme events like supernova can produce suffice energy to fuse together light elements and make heavy one like iron.

Energy release during nuclear fusion is due to the interplay of  two opposing forces 
1.nuclear force...which combines particles like proton and neutron together
2.coloumb force...which is responsible for preparation between like charges. (proton and proton/neutron and neutron)

Nuclear fusion and fission

inside the sun fusion takes place at superhigh temperatures and immense gravitational pressures,, now what is a distinction between nuclear fusion and fission, simply put fusion is combining together atoms to create big one and fission is breaking of larger atoms into smaller ones

nuclear fission release heat energy, as per Albert Einstein's energy equation, energy release is equivalent to the mass reduction in resulting atoms.

nuclear fission takes place when largely unstable isotopes(atoms with the same number of protons but different number of neutrons) are bombarded with highly accelerated neutrons causing fission in isotopes

in the majority of nuclear reactors, this process is done in which isotope is uranium 235, this breaks apart the isotope nucleus in two nuclei, 3 neutrons in the total and huge amount of energy

the high-speed neutrons which are ejected causes strike more nuclei and cause more fission ultimately causing an endless process called a chain reaction.

fusion causes small atoms like hydrogen and helium to fuse together to form heavy elements and release of large energy under high temperature and pressure condition

in the sun tritium and deuterium(isotopes of hydrogen 3 and hydrogen 2 respectively) unite together to form a neutron  and helium isotope, the amount of energy release is several times more than fission

scientists are working to control the fusion reaction in an attempt to make a fusion reactor to produce electricity they say this is more beneficial as it produces less radioactive waste compared to fission.

fission is used in nuclear reactors as it is controlled and fusion, on the other hand, is hard to control and such necessary conditions are expensive to create

Nuclear fusion in the sun

ever Wondered what makes the sun immensely powerful????? 
what enables it to release such an enormous heat and light energy every second??
behind such energy, there is nuclear fusion and fission, the inside and center of the sun is extremely hot it's having the temperature of about 14,000,000 k and density of 160 g/cc in gas form

nuclear fussion

atomic collisions are very frequent resulting in radiation of brute energy why energy is released and which relation it follows was discovered by Einstein and given in the form of the energy equation 

here m is mass of atoms fused and c is a speed of light

The pressure in the sun's core is millions of times higher than that is on earth's surface, every second 600 million tons of hydrogen getting converted into helium

the chain reaction in the sun is called proton-reaction, and it all starts with proton and converting it into helium, steps are as follows,

two pairs of protons fusing and forming two deuterons
each deuterium fuses with one more proton forming helium 3
two helium 3 nucleus fuse together to form beryllium 6 which is unstable, which further breaks into helium 4 and two protons.
the process also releases two neutrons, two positron and gamma rays.

the proton-proton reaction starts when two protons are able to recover the repulsive force and get close enough to bind together since the speed of proton depends upon temperature fusion can occur at high pressure

in the 1960 astronomers made an odd suggestion saying perhaps the sun is going out, what gave rise to such ominous comments are results of some experiments

in pp reaction equation you will see v there, they are neutrinos, they are elusive to say the least, they escaped virtually unhindered from the sun and expected to be in a copious manner despite efforts of countless teams the observed rate is one-third of what would be expected

this came as a shock coz if we think we can understand fusion, this became known as a "neutrino problem" resolution of neutrino problem came from Canadian and British scientists with using SNO.

Nuclear fusion reactor

a device to produce electricity from the energy produced of fusion, although these reactors are more theoretical, since 1950 science are trying in direction of developing such reactor

Characteristics... energy producing method is nuclear fusion reactor is joining of two light nuclei, as I have already mentioned, in order for fusion to take place, a speed of joining particles should suffice enough to contradict repulsive Coulomb force

there has to be some separation between the two(less than a one trillionth of the centimeter), numerous atoms mean a gas of atoms are needed to get the high amount of resulting energy, and this too is a necessary condition of high temperature

for that, a gas containing experimental atoms are heated beyond particular temperature so that electrons are knocked out of there and forming ionized gas of free electrons and positive nuclei

this is called plasma state, the fourth state of the matter, most of the celestial objects are in this state in our cosmos,

you will be shocked and surprised to know that the temperature of such processes are 100,000,000 degree Celsius which is six times that of the temperature at the sun's center

such plasma states lose energy through radiation, conduction, and convections, to maintain plasma states amount of energy lost must  be added through the fusion process, hence frequency and time gap of collisions  must be maintained

these plasma states are confined in space with huge gravitational fields, on earth, it is not possible to produce sufficiently enough plasma to confine it, for terrestrial applications however there are two ways  of confinement
1... magnetic confinement
2...inertial confinement

Principals of magnetic confinement:

1. confinement physics...magnetic confinement is most developed approach to attain fusion, the large part of fusion is to attain magnetic field strong enough to confine the plasma, successful confinement must meet criteria such as

plasma must be in time independent equilibrium state, the equilibrium must be macroscopically stable,
leakage of  energy to plasma boundary must be small

many different types of magnetic confinements are planned and tested over a period of years.

nuclear fusion

2. Toroidal confinement...most sought after the concept of toroidal confinement is tokamak, the tokamak was introduced in 1960 by the Soviet physicists. the magnetic lines of force are helixes that set in a spiral around the torus

the helical field has two components named toroidal, which points the long way around the torus, and poloidal components directed the short way around the machine

both the components are necessary for plasma to be in the equilibrium state if the poloidal field were zero so the field lines were simply a circle, wrapped about the porous, then the plasma would not be in equilibrium.

the particle would not follow a line and drift away towards the wall, the addition of poloidal components gives particle orbits which are contained within a device.

3. Mirror confinement...alternate approach to magnetic confinement is to provide the straight configuration in which end loss is decreased with plug in of electric and such linear fusion reactor magnetic field strength is increased at ends

charged particles which approach end are slowed down and may get reflected from this magnetic mirror, particles with extremely high speed are not reflected by the mirror

to prevent such leakage electrostatic plugging is provided, an additional layer of plasma is provided beyond the magnetic mirror, the plasma in this end plugs provides an electrostatic potential barrier to nuclei

4. Plasma previously mentioned plasma needs to be heated 100,000,000 degrees centigrade two methods are used namely electromagnetic wave heating and neutral beam injection method.

in a first method, electromagnetic waves are directed by an antenna on the surface of plasma, the waves penetrate the plasma and give its energy to constituent particles

ionized gas of plasma allows propagation of such waves which are not found in other forms of matter.effective wave heating technique employs the technique which are from radio frequencies to microwave

power absorption is often are often rely on resonant interaction between wave and plasma, if the frequency of the incident ray is equal to the frequency of the nucleus at which it generates about magnetic field line, this resonant nucleus absorb energy from a wave.

Nuclear fusion advantages

By the end of century demands of energy will be tripled under the conditions of population growth, the rise in electricity demand a new large scale, sustainable form of energy is needed, following advantages of fusion worth pursuing

Abundant energy

fusing atoms together generate nearly four million times more energy than burning coal, oil and gas and 4 times that of nuclear fission


nuclear fuels are widely available  and nearly inexhaustible, deuterium can be produced by distillation of any water and tritium is produced due to a fusion of lithium and neutron


it doesn't generate gases such as co2 and other green house gases, its major product is helium which is inert /nonreactive gas

Short-lived E-waste

reactors produce no high activity, long-lived nuclear waste, the activation of components is low enough for the materials to be used in 100 years

Limited risk of proliferation

fusion doesn't involve elements such as uranium and plutonium, so there are no fissile materials

No risk of meltdown

a Fukushima type accident isn't possible in a tokamak fusion device, it is difficult to maintain precise conditions necessary for fusion, if any disturbance occurs fusion stops and plasma cools down


the fusion envisioned for the later part of the century involves similar cost as fission reactor, the average cost per kilowatt is slightly more expensive at the beginning, when the technology is new and less expensive as the economies of a scale bring the cost down

  • to understand nuclear fusion easily, here are some nuclear fusion diagrams.

you are also getting some worksheets to understand fusion in more detail and you can also use it for studies

  • the process, which has many expectations, process on which perhaps our future will rely, is going on everywhere in cosmos yet its need to be fully utilized for our benefits. the day is not far when we will accomplish one more goal of utilizing such high grade energy.
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