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


Key material development for fusion energy application

Phys Dot Org 22 Jul 2022
Haug Qunying from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with collaborators, has introduced the latest development and strategy on fusion energy in China and reviewed the progresses of reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) steel for engineering applications....

Scientific innovation breaks tech blockade to make strides in 'artificial sun' research

The Manila Times 20 Jul 2022
However, compared with the mature application of nuclear fission in nuclear power plants, human beings are faced with many challenges to control the thermonuclear fusion reaction ... At present, the only full-scale nuclear fusion reactor in the world is the International Thermonuclear Fusion Experimental Reactor (ITER) which is under construction....

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