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1255_Physics ProblemsTechnical Physics

1255_Physics ProblemsTechnical Physics - 596 Applications...

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596 Applications of Nuclear Physics Q45.7 In a fusion reaction, the main idea is to get the nuclear forces, which act over very short distances, to overcome the Coulomb repulsion of the protons. Tritium has one more neutron in the nucleus, and thus increases the nuclear force, decreasing the necessary kinetic energy to obtain D–T fusion as compared to D–D fusion. Q45.8 The biggest obstacle is power loss due to radiation. Remember that a high temperature must be maintained to keep the fuel in a reactive plasma state. If this kinetic energy is lost due to bremsstrahlung radiation, then the probability of nuclear fusion will decrease significantly. Additionally, each of the confinement techniques requires power input, thus raising the bar for sustaining a reaction in which the power output is greater than the power input. Q45.9 Fusion of light nuclei to a heavier nucleus releases energy. Fission of a heavy nucleus to lighter nuclei releases energy. Both processes are steps towards greater stability on the curve of binding
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