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eastmond@yahoo.com
science forum beginner

Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:04 pm    Post subject: Why can't particle accelerators produce fusion?

Hi,

I was wondering why one can't just accelerate tritium and deuterium
nucleii in particle accelerators and make the beams collide to produce
fusion. I assume the problem would be that even though there's enough
energy in the collision the nucleii would just fly apart before they

To counteract this problem I've been thinking that one could use a
"funnel" to keep the beams together long enough for fusion to occur.
One could fire a beam of tritium nucleii and a beam of deuterium
nucleii at 45 degrees to each other into an electrostatically
positively charged tube. The beams would collide at high energies but
the nucleii would be prevented from scattering away from each other by
the electrostatic repulsion from the tube. Hopefully the nucleii would
fuse to produce helium nucleii which would be ejected at high velocity
out of the other end of the tube.
Brian McDermott
science forum beginner

Joined: 20 Aug 2005
Posts: 25

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Re: Why can't particle accelerators produce fusion?

eastmond@yahoo.com wrote:
 Quote: Hi, I was wondering why one can't just accelerate tritium and deuterium nucleii in particle accelerators and make the beams collide to produce fusion. I assume the problem would be that even though there's enough energy in the collision the nucleii would just fly apart before they had time to fuse. To counteract this problem I've been thinking that one could use a "funnel" to keep the beams together long enough for fusion to occur. One could fire a beam of tritium nucleii and a beam of deuterium nucleii at 45 degrees to each other into an electrostatically positively charged tube. The beams would collide at high energies but the nucleii would be prevented from scattering away from each other by the electrostatic repulsion from the tube. Hopefully the nucleii would fuse to produce helium nucleii which would be ejected at high velocity out of the other end of the tube.

You can use particle accelerators to produce fusion reactions! It is
done all the time as a way to generate neutrons for research purposes.
You can do this in your own home with the proper equipment. It won't
generate net power though, as there are far too many losses.
Bruce Scott TOK

Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 75

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Why can't particle accelerators produce fusion?

 Quote: I was wondering why one can't just accelerate tritium and deuterium nucleii in particle accelerators and make the beams collide to produce fusion. I assume the problem would be that even though there's enough energy in the collision the nucleii would just fly apart before they had time to fuse.

This would be a form of inertial confinement fusion (ICF for inertial
confinement fusion)... the energy cost in overcoming all sorts of
dynamical instabilities (you are suggesting a non neutral plasma) is too
great, much greater than for magnetic confinement (MFE for magnetic
fusion energy).

Rest assured, this approach was well thought of, and tried.
For a variant using cyclotron motion in magnetic fields google 'MIGMA'
It works well for low densities but the cost of increasing the density
to useful levels is too great.

 Quote: To counteract this problem I've been thinking that one could use a "funnel" to keep the beams together long enough for fusion to occur. One could fire a beam of tritium nucleii and a beam of deuterium nucleii at 45 degrees to each other into an electrostatically positively charged tube. The beams would collide at high energies but the nucleii would be prevented from scattering away from each other by the electrostatic repulsion from the tube. Hopefully the nucleii would fuse to produce helium nucleii which would be ejected at high velocity out of the other end of the tube.

dependent electric fields involve magnetic fields (and vice versa). If
you get the density up high enough to neglect the displacement current
(you need 4 pi nM c^2 >> B^2) this becomes an MHD problem and then you
get to deal with the back reaction of Alfven wave effects.

Colliding beam fusion is still at relatively low level an active
research topic. But the prospects so far do not equal those of MFE or
ICF.

--
ciao,
Bruce

drift wave turbulence: http://www.rzg.mpg.de/~bds/

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