Chapter 7. Fusion

When two light nuclear particles combine or “fuse” together, energy is released because the product nuclei have less mass than the original particles. Such fusion reactions can be caused by bombarding targets with charged particles, by use of an accelerator, or by raising the temperature of a gas to a high enough level for nuclear reactions to take place. In this chapter we will describe the interactions in the microscopic sense and discuss the phenomena that affect our ability to achieve a practical large-scale source of energy from fusion. Thanks are due to Dr. John G. Gilligan for his comments.

7.1. Fusion Reactions

The possibility of release of large amounts of nuclear energy can be seen by comparing the masses of nuclei ...

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