Thermonuclear fusion

Thermonuclear fusion is a way to achieve nuclear fusion by using extremely high temperatures. There are two forms of thermonuclear fusion: uncontrolled, in which the resulting energy is released in an uncontrolled manner, as it is in thermonuclear weapons such as the "hydrogen bomb", and controlled, where the fusion reactions take place in an environment allowing some of the resulting energy to be harnessed for constructive purposes. This article focuses on the latter.

Temperature requirements

Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of particles, so by heating the material it will gain energy. After reaching sufficient temperature, given by the Lawson criterion, the energy of accidental collisions within the plasma is high enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier and the particles may fuse together.

In a deuterium–tritium fusion reaction, for example, the energy necessary to overcome the Coulomb barrier is 0.1 MeV. Converting between energy and temperature shows that the 0.1 MeV barrier would be overcome at a temperature in excess of 1.2 billion Kelvin.

Latest News for: Thermonuclear fusion


Recorded gamma ray burst second only to Big Bang

ECNS 29 Mar 2023
The event, dubbed GRB 221009A, was detected on Oct 9 last year, and it came from the constellation of Sagitta at a distance of around 2.4 billion light-years from Earth ... On a more intuitive scale, it was about the total energy released by 10,000 suns throughout their billions of years of life cycle using thermonuclear fusion ... .......

You have to sweat the small stuff

The Manila Times 20 Mar 2023
Paul metro area and the 3.7 million people who live there ... It has a number of benign uses in a weak, diluted form, mostly in lighting and radio-luminescent objects; in its concentrated form it is used as fuel for fusion reactors and thermonuclear weapons. There are two particularly disturbing aspects of this story ... At least most of the time....

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