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Nuclear fusion

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The fusion is the process by which the sun and other stars generate light and heat. It is a nuclear process, where energy is produced by breaking light atoms and is the opposite reaction to fission, where heavy isotopes are divided . In the area of ​​nuclear physics, fusion occurs when several atomic nuclei that have a similar charge join together, forming a nucleus that is heavier than the original.

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Which is nuclear fusion?

The nuclear fusion is a reaction by which two light nuclei can bind to achieve a core shape which is more heavy peeling at the same time energy .

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  • What does it consist of
  • What is nuclear fusion for?
  • features
  • Discovery of nuclear fusion
  • History
  • Process
  • Reactors
  • Advantages of nuclear fusion
  • Disadvantages
  • Importance

What does it consist of

The nuclear fusion is a type of nuclear reaction by which two nuclei of atoms  that are light , usually hydrogen and its isotopes (deuterium and tritium), are achieved together to form a core more heavy . The union produces the emission of particles and a large amount of energy is released or absorbed in the form of gamma rays and kinetic energy by the particles that are emitted. This release of energy allows matter to enter the plasma state .

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What is nuclear fusion for?

It is used mainly for the production of electrical energy . There are also many experiments using nuclear fusion to create experimental reactors in world energy research. It is also used by companies to prototype nuclear fusion reactors

features

The main characteristics of nuclear fusion are:

  • They can emit or absorb the energy .
  • When the nuclei that fuse together have a mass less than iron, they release energy.
  • It occurs naturally in stars.
  • They are known as thermonuclear reactions because of the high temperatures they experience.
  • It is considered as an important energy resource on a large scale.
  • The elements most used to generate nuclear fusion reactions are hydrogen , deuterium and tritium .

Discovery of nuclear fusion

The fusion of light nuclei was first observed by Mark Oliphant in 1932 ; and the main cycle of fusion in the stars was elaborated by Hans Bethe . Research on fusion for military use began in the 1940s as part of the Manhattan Project , but was successful until 1952.

History

The origins of nuclear fusion dating from 1929 when Atkinson and Houtemans drafted the possibility of obtaining energy from the reactions of fusion nuclear. The theory was developed in 1942 with the works of H. Bethe, E. Fermi, R. Oppenheimer, and E. Teller . Through the Sherwood project, the first technological advances were made, which allowed the development of the concept of magnetic confinement . In 1961, J. Nuckolls and N . Basov developed a technique for reactions of fusion nuclear by highcompressions due to loss of energy. In 1965, Artsimovich presented the results of studies of the magnetic field necessary to confine the plasma.

Process

The process is based on the union of light nuclei to be able to form a heavier nucleus . In order to overcome the repulsion force nuclei must move speed high or in other words at temperatures too high for the fuel in the form of plasma to produce sufficient fusion reactions.

Reactors

  • Tokamak: thermonuclear reactor by magnetic confinement.
  • Stellarator: toroidal fusion reactor with a poloidal magnetic field.
  • High beta fusion reactor.
  • Polywel Nuclear Reactor.

Advantages of nuclear fusion

Its advantages are:

  • Nuclear fusion is a type of clean energy since it does not produce harmful gases.
  • It produces nuclear waste that has very low activity.
  • A nuclear fusion reactor is safe as the reaction itself stops when the fuel supply is cut off.
  • It does not depend on an external security system susceptible to errors.
  • It is an inexhaustible source of energy because deuterium is abundant in nature and tritium is formed within the reactor itself from deuterium.

Disadvantages

Its disadvantages are:

  • It is difficult to control except for nuclear weapons .
  • There is no fusion reactor capable of maintaining the reaction correctly, so it is not economically profitable .
  • It is still considered as a technology that is in its research phase .
  • It has many problems that can affect the operational life stages of a reactor.
  • It is difficult to reach the ignition state , whereby the heat that is produced by the plasma maintains the fusion reaction .
  • It is not easy to achieve on the ground, as the temperatures required for it to function are extremely high .
  • When plasma is created, it is difficult to maintain it.

Importance

Its importance lies in the experiments to obtain energy through it . As a means of obtaining energy it is also very important because it has great advantages for the environment and safety .

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