Cool Essay, Research Paper

Why nuclear fusion is so cool…….

For a fusion reaction to take place, the nuclei, which are positively

charged, must have enough kinetic energy to overcome their electrostatic

force of repulsion. This can occur either when one nucleus is

accelerated to high energies by an accelerating device, or when the

energies of both nuclei are raised by the application of very high

temperature. The latter method, referred to the application of

thermonuclear fusion, is the source of a lot of really cool energy.

Enough energy is produced in thermonuclear fusion to suck the paint of 1

city block of houses and give all of the residents permanent orange

Afros. The sun is a example of thermonuclear fusion in nature.

If I was a atom, I could only wish to be in a thermonuclear reaction.

Thermonuclear reactions occur when a proton is accelerated and collides

with another proton and then the two protons fuse, forming a deuterium

nucleus which has a proton, neutrino and lots of energy. I have no idea

what a deuterium nucleus is, but is must be 10 times cooler than just a

regular nucleus. Such a reaction is not self sustaining because the

released energy is not readily imparted to other nuclei. thermonuclear

fusion of deuterium and tritium will produce a helium nucleus and an

energetic neutron that can help sustain further fusion. This is the

basic principal of the hydrogen bomb which employs a brief, controlled

thermonuclear fusion reaction. This was also how the car in the Back to

the Future movie worked. It had a much more sophisticated system of

producing a fusion reaction from things like, old coffee grounds,

bananas, and old beer cans. Thermonuclear reactions depend on high

energies, and the possibility of a low-temperature nuclear fusion has

generally been discounted. Little does the scientific community know

about my experiments. I have produced cold fusion in my basement with

things like: stale bread, milk, peanut butter and flat Pepsi. I have

been able to produce a ten-megaton reaction which as little as a

saltine cracker and some grass clippings. But enough about my

discoveries. Early in 1989 two electrochemists startled the scientific

world by claiming to achieve a room-temperature fusion in a simple

laboratory. They had little proof to back up their discovery, and were

not credited with their so-called accomplishment. The two scientists

were Stanley Pons of the university of Utah and Martin Fleischmann of

the University of Southampton in England. They described their

experiment as involving platinum electrodes an electrochemical cell in

which palladium and platinum were immersed in heavy water. These two

losers said that the cell produced more heat than could be accounted

for. Yeah right!! The week before I was talking to both men on the

phone and I told them about all of the cool things you could do with

platinum. I said “Now Martin, what you need to do is get your hands on

some platinum and some heavy Mexican drinking water. The amount of

chemicals in the Mexican drinking water is sure to cause a violent

reaction with the platinum electrodes and produce lots of energy. I have

been doing this sort of things in my basement for years.” When I told

him that though that NASA could power their shuttles with this sort of a

reaction, he nearly wet his pants. Now as usual, I received no credit

for MY discovery, but that is ok..I have grown used to it. I taught

Einstein, Newton, and Ron Popeel (inventor of things like the

pasto-matic, hair-in-a-can, and the pocket fisherman) everything they

know. Besides, the two shmucks didn t even follow my instructions for

the experiment. However, until I reveal my secrets about cold fusion,

it will remain only a proposed theory. nuclear fusion is also what

powers the rest of the stars in the solar system. Stars carry out

fusion in a thermonuclear manner. Thermonuclear is a really cool word

which I am going to use several more times just because it is so cool.

In a thermonuclear reaction matter is forced to exist in only in a

plasma state, consisting of electrons, positive ions and very few

neutral atoms. Fusion reactions that occur within a plasma serve to

heat it further, because the portion of the reaction product is

transferred to the bulk of the plasma through collisions. In the

deuterium-tritium reaction the positively charged helium nucleus carries

3.5 MeV. The neutron escaped the plasma with little interaction and ,

in a reaction, could deposit its 14.1 MeV in a surrounding lithium

blanket. I have know idea what that last sentence meat, but I am going

to memorize it, because I will sound super smart if I tell someone about

the neutrons activity in a plasma thermonuclear reaction. The neutrons

activity would breed tritium and also heat as a exchange medium which

could be used to produce steam to turn generator turbines. However, the

plasma also loses thermal energy though a variety of processes:

conduction, convection, and bremsstrachlng which is electromagnetic

radiation about 1000 times stronger than the microwave in your kitchen.

Bermsstrachlng is the electromagnetic energy which is produced by the

deceleration of a charged particle. Energy also escapes in the reaction

through line radiation from electrons undergoing level transitions in

heavier impurities, and through losses of hot nuclei that capture an

election and escape and confining field. Ignition occurs when the

energy deposited within the plasma by fusion reactions equals or exceeds

the energy being lost. In order to achieve ignition, plasma must be

combined and heated. Obviously, a plasma at millions of degrees is not

comparable with an ordinary confining wall, but the effect of this

incompatibility is not the destruction of the wall as might be expected.

I have found that if one uses Corning Ware in a microwave set on high,

plasma can take place quite safely. It is important to note that

tupperware is not suited well for thermonuclear reactions, and is best

left to use to store weapons grade plutonium in. I find that the air

tight lids work simply splendidly in keeping all of that nasty glowing

radioactive dust to a minimum in my room.. Although the temperature of

a thermonuclear plasma is very high and the power flowing through it may

be quite large the stored energy is relatively small and would quickly

be radiated away by impurities if the plasma touched a wall and began to

vaporize it. A thermonuclear plasma is thus self-limiting, because any

significant contact with the vessel housing causes it s extinction

within a few thousandths of a second. Therefore, plasma must be

carefully housed and handled while it is occurring (For further

information on plasma refer to the 2 essay in my series entitled “Why

Plasma Is So Cool”).

Most of the research dealing with fusion since 1950 has used magnetic

fields to contain the charged particles that constitute a plasma. The

density required in magnetic-confinement fusion is much lower than

atmospheric density, so the plasma vessel is evacuated and them filled

with the hydrogen-isotope fuel at 0.0000000. What is the deal with all

of those zeros? I mean it means the same as 0..It must be one of those

wacky science thingys. Sort of like why inflammable and flammable mean

the same thing. Who knows. Anyway, Magnetic-field configurations fall

into two typed: open and closed. Wow, that was real obvious. In an

open configuration, the charged particles, which are spiraling along

magnetic field lines maintained by a solenoid, are reflected at each end

of a cell by stronger magnetic fields. I have found in my research that

if one used a 9-volt battery (preferably from a old smoke detector) the

reaction takes place much more efficiently. In this simplest type of

mirror machine, many particles that have most of their velocity parallel

to the solenoidal magnetic field are not reflected and can escape. This

is a real problem for me when ever I try to perform a thermonuclear

fission reaction. I have yet to find a solution to the problem, but for

now stale Trident chewing gum works as a acceptable improvision for the

problem. Present day mirror machines retard this loss by using

additional cells to set up electrostatic potentials that help confine

the hot ions within the central solenoidal field. In a Closed reaction,

the magnetic-field lines along which charged particles move are

continuous within the plasma. This closure has most commonly taken the

form of a toros, or doughnut shape, and the most common example is the

tokamak. In a tokmak the primary confining field is totoidal and is

produced by coils of surrounding the vacuum vessel. Other coils cause

current to flow through the plasma by induction. This toroidally

flowing current wraps itself around the plasma. Is it just me, or are

there a lot of really useless big words. I mean, totoidally, what is

this? My only thought is that is one of those many wacky science terms

that people who you see on the Discovery Channel would use. The

poloidal magnetic field, at right angles, that stronger toroidal field,

acting together, yield magnetic field lines that spiral around the

torus. This spiring ensures that a particle spends equal amounts of

time above and below the totoidal midplane, thus canceling the effects

of a vertical drift that occurs because magnetic field is stronger on

the inside of the torus than on the outside.

Another cool thing about thermonuclear plasma is that a certain type of

plasma called Tokmak plasma can be heated to temperatures of 10-15

million k by the current flowing in the plasma. Imagine how quick one

could broil chicken. In less than + seconds, you could have a perfectly

golden brown and tender chicken ready for dinner. At higher

temperature the plasma resistance becomes too low for this method to be

effective, and heating is accomplished by injecting beams of very

energetic neural particles into the plasma. These ionize, become

trapped, and transfer their energy to the build plasma through

collisions. Alternatively, radio frequency waves are launched into the

plasma at frequencies that resonate with various periodic particle

motions. The waves give energy to these resonant particles, which then

transfer it to the rest of the plasma through collisions. In some of my

most recent expirations I have been able to use radio frequency waves to

push electrons around the tokmak to maintain the plasma current. Such

noninductive current drive allows the tokamak pulse to outlast the time

limitly imposed by the fact that , in a transformer-driven tokmak

reaction thingy, the plasma current lasts only as long as the current in

the secondary coils reach their current limits, confinement is lost, and

the plasma terminates until the transformer can be reset. Although the

plasma in as inductively driven tokamak is pulsed, the electricity

produced would not ve, because the thermal inertia of the

neutron-capturing blanket would sustain stream generation between

pulses. By allowing longer pulse or steady-state plasma operation,

however, radio frequency current drive could lessen the thermal stresses

in the fusion reaction. However, so far cooking with plasma has not

been to practical for me. Another approach to fusion pusued since

about 1974, is termed inertial confinement. During my many patrols

during the Viet..-NAM war, I further developed my theory s and opinions

regarding inertial confinement fusion. When I arrived home with a

severely hyper-extended earlobe, I was in great pain and suffering, but

I still managed to explain my findings to the scientific community.

essentially, my theory of inertial confinement fusion works similar to

how the atomic bomb works. A small pellet of frozen deuterium and

tritium are compressed to a very high temperature and densities in a

process analogous to what is accomplished by bombarding the pellet from

all sides, simultaneously with a really intense laser. I nearly put my

eye out with the thing. It is certainty not a toy. Anyway, back to

fusion. After you have nuked the pellet thing with the super laser

thingy, the pellet vaporizes and, by mechanical reaction, imparts

inwardly directed momentum to their remaining pellet core. The inertia

of the inwardly driven pellet material must be sufficient to localize

the power of -9 seconds required to get significant energy release. In

1988, after my defeat in the presidential election, I helped the

government preform underground tests in the Nevada desert. I had showed

the government how to do this type of experiment in 1986, but it took

them two years before they could get it right. I think that their chief

nuclear engineers name was Forrest or something..Man what a idiot. He

just could not get it right. Once again, people took credit for my

discovery. The miniminum confinement condition necessary to achieve

energy gain in a deuterium-tritium plasma is that of the product of the

density in ions per cubic cm and energy containment time in seconds must

exceed 6×10 -13th power. This was attained for the first time in a

hydrogen plasma at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983.

The temperature required to ignite a fusion reactor is in the range of

100-250 million k, several times the temperature of the center of the

sun. What? How can you have a reaction several times the suns central

temperature in a enclosed plasma environment? Is this some kind of

wacky scientist joke or something? Anyway, the science geeks at M.I.T

supposedly did produce this kind of fusion.

The goal on fusion is in effect, to produce and hold a small star. It

is a daunting and tedious research which is considered to be of the most

advanced in the world. Creating a small dwarf star in a man-made

environment has thought to be the highest scientific challenge. Even

though last weekend my little brother and I did create several dwarf

stars, we were forced to put them out because the neighbors kept

complaining about the light. The cop was a real jerk. I tried

explaining to him what I was doing, but he kept asking me to do stupid

things like: stand on 1 leg and recite the alphabet backwards, and touch

my nose with my finger. Apparently the cop though that I was getting

smart with him when I started to explain to him about the beauty of

fission energy. Oh well, at least he didn t arrest me..again…


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