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Nuclear Fusion


As an energy source, nuclear fusion possesses several additional advantages over nuclear fission. In particular, light isotopes suitable for fusion are far more abundant than the heavy isotopes required for fission. If fusion reactions are to be used to generate electricity, it will be necessary to develop equipment in which very high temperatures can be maintained long enough to allow fusion to occur and give off energy.


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Nuclear fusion is the process where by nuclei join together into one nucleus. Such an occurrence is not possible under normal temperature and pressure, because the repulsive coulombic forces between the positive charges of atomic nuclei prevent them from mingling into the required close proximity for them to coalesce into one.

Nuclear Fusion


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There is no specific formula to represent a nuclear fusion reaction. We can simply represent this reaction using some variables like X, Y, etc. So, the mathematical representation of nuclear fusion is,

X + Y → Z + E

where X and Y be the two lighter nuclei (parent), these can be same or different
Z is the daughter nuclei
E is the energy released during the process
During a process of nuclear fusion, two lighter nuclei combine together to form a heavier nuclei. In this process, a large amount of energy is released. If the lighter nuclei is smaller than the iron the energy got released. If the lighter nuclei is larger than the iron, the energy is absorbed by the daughter nuclei. Energy absorption has commonly occurred in the nuclear fission process.
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Nuclear Fusion in the Sun

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How does the sun shine? appears to be a simple and straightforward question that has a simple answer: the sun shines because a process of nuclear fusion is taking place inside it, releasing vast amounts of energy and thus providing sunshine for our planet. The nuclear fusion of light is the energy source of the stars. In this process, two lighter nuclei fuse to form a nuclei with heavier mass. In this process, some of the mass is converted in to energy, so mass is not conserved. Fusion is the process that powers active stars. Creating the required conditions for fusion on earth is very difficult, to the point that it has not been accomplished at any scale for protium, the common light isotope of hydrogen that undergoes natural fusion in stars.
Hydrogen and helium are the two main elements in the sun. Nuclear fusion is the process by which hydrogen atoms fuse together to create helium atoms and release energy. In crude terms, four hydrogen nuclei fuse together to produce one helium nucleus. In the total reaction, for each helium nucleus created, two gamma rays of photons, two electrons and two neutrinos are produced.

Nuclear Reaction

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The nuclear reaction is a process in which the composition or energy of target nucleus changes due to the bombardment of projectile particle. The projectile may be nucleons, photons, electrons. complex nuclei or any particle with a life time of less than 10-8s. Thus when an energetic particle is incident on a nucleus, then the formation of a new nucleus with emitting one or more particles is known as nuclear reaction.
In general, a nuclear reaction may be represented as,

X + a → Y + b

where X is the parent nucleus, a is the incident particle, Y is the daughter nucleus and b is the emitted particle.

Nuclear Fission and Fusion

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Nuclear fission and fusion are opposite reactions in nature but the tremendous energy is released in both cases. The main differences between nuclear fission and fusion are as follows:

In nuclear fission, a heavy nucleus splits into two or more lighter nuclei In nuclear fusion, two or more lighter nuclei are combined to form a heavy nucleus.
Huge amount of energy is liberated in nuclear fission In fusion, the energy liberated is 200 times greater than the energy liberated in fission
Fission takes place in normal conditions
For fusion, very high temperature and pressure are required
The atom bomb is the example of nuclear fission The hydrogen bomb is the example of nuclear fusion

Nuclear Fusion Reactor

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Nuclear fusion reactors are used as a practical energy source. Another name of this reactor is controlled thermonuclear reactors (CTRs). This works on the principle in which plasma is kept in a magnetic confinement. To produce safe energy, prototype reactors are used. In the year 2050, the fusion energy production through the commercial reactor is assumed to start.


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Some examples of nuclear fusion reaction is given below:

1. Fusion of hydrogen


2. Fusion of carbon and helium

$_{6}^{13}\textrm{C}$+$_{2}^{4}\textrm{He}$$\rightarrow$ $_{8}^{16}\textrm{O}$+$_{0}^{1}\textrm{n}$

3. Fusion of nitrogen and helium

$_{7}^{14}\textrm{N}$+$_{2}^{4}\textrm{He}$$\rightarrow$$ _{9}^{17}\textrm{F}$+$_{0}^{1}\textrm{n}$

Hydrogen bomb is an example of nuclear fusion