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Author: Subject: Nuclear fusion's only obstacle: Confinement
AsocialSurvival
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Nuclear fusion's only obstacle: Confinement

So, after investigating how to make any element from any other element, I realized that nuclear fusion is the solution. All we do with it is combine atoms (protons to make different elements, and neutrons to make different isotopes).

We only have to overcome Coulumb force which repels atoms by using extremely high pressure and heat. Since I am more interested in quick and simple, rather than complicated expensive methods which involve using particle accelerators, radiations like x-ray, or gamma, I am asking this:

How to make extremely high temperature and pressure in an extremely small space, even if for just a second using electrical and chemical, simple methods? At least about 1 000 000 000 °C if we don't increase pressure (meaning if we do it in open space).

Can we cause short circuiting of some two metals so that they melt and vaporise or even explode and damage nearby equipment. Can we use explosions because they raise both temperature and pressure?

For example if we expose iron to such conditions, it will convert to Tellurium: 26 Fe + 26 Fe => 52 Te (if we ignore neutrons, isotopes, and possible radioactive decays from newly formed unstable isotopes of Te)

With this we could make not only precious metals, but any other rare element!
Energy is not problem, but only concentration of such high energy in such small space.
For example we could become rich by using free energy (burning wood and scrap) to make electricity from it, or use it directly (in case we want to make gold and sell it).
In some cases it's not all about effeciency and earning money, but about possibility of making some element.

The problem with for example selling wood, iron, water, coal and other common resources is because hardly anyone will buy it, and it is very huge and heavy for transportation. But gold is easy to sell! So how can we solve these confinement problem?

* Elements up to Iron will produce energy, while those after iron will use it. This is not so important in our case, because we don't intend to harness energy (it would be additionaly complicated).

* We can make any element from any other, for example we can make any by element using hydrogen only.

* For making real (not radioactive) elements we need to make those stable isotopes of elements. For example for Gold: 197 Au. But even this is not neccessary, we can still make short-lasting radioactive isotopes which quickly decay to stable isotope of the ssame element, or even other elements isotopes.
Artemus Gordon
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You need to read up on the history of Hydrogen fusion research. Fusing Hydrogen to Helium is the easiest fusion reaction there is, yet scientists all over the world have been trying to do it for more than half a century in huge, government-funded labs with only the tiniest specks of success.

[Edited on 9-10-2014 by Artemus Gordon]
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"We" can currently only do this in our imaginations, unfortunately, since as Artemus Gordon pointed out, research into fusion has been happening for a very long time almost fruitlessly.
Trying to fuse elements using controlled explosions would be near impossible to accomplish, as that would mean willingly setting of a gigantic nuclear bomb for each fusion. It would be suicidal and would really not make you any money even if you somehow fused yourself a lump of solid platinum.

Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog.
Oscilllator
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The key problem here is that the strong nuclear force is, unsurprisingly, really fucking strong. The forces that bind a nucleus together are so much stronger than the forces that bind atoms together that is is impossible (read: IMPOSSIBLE) to use a collection of atoms to directly contain a nuclear reaction. Think of trying to contain a block of C4 with tissue paper, and you have not come close to imagining how difficult this is.
The only way we currently have to contain a nuclear reaction is to
a) use the most benign and easy to contain reaction we can find
b)use insanely strong magnetic fields to keep the reactants whizzing round in circles without actually touching the walls of the chamber
Even then we have not had any success yet
Tdep
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Ah yes, fusion. One day in the future, but I still feel like it's a little while off.

Except for those shrimp that nearly do it.
hyfalcon
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 Quote: Originally posted by Tdep Except for those shrimp that nearly do it.

Explain!?
Simbani
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Dense Plasma Focus, look into this:
http://lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com/fusion-power/dpf-devic...

Shrimp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonoluminescence
[Edited on 10-10-2014 by Simbani]

[Edited on 10-10-2014 by Simbani]
Tdep
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Yep, that guy's on it.

The article wiki references:

"According to the laws of black-body radiation, the wavelength trend corresponds to an exponential increase in temperatures as high as 100,000 kelvins. However, this does not take into account the high pressures in the bubble, which could produce much higher peak temperatures on the scale of millions of kelvins."

Theoretical of course, and nanoseconds at best. But most definitely hot enough for fusion. And those Pistol shrimp guys are doing a basic version of this.

Also: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp
AsocialSurvival
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 Quote: Originally posted by Artemus Gordon You need to read up on the history of Hydrogen fusion research. Fusing Hydrogen to Helium is the easiest fusion reaction there is, yet scientists all over the world have been trying to do it for more than half a century in huge, government-funded labs with only the tiniest specks of success.

Wrong. The problem of fusing Hydrogen into Helium is not in that it's energetically impossible or hard to do, but because yeild is low it is energetically inefficient.
You are right - it is easiest fusion reaction (by element, but by isotope it is D-T fusion).
And you're right with "with tiniest specks of success".

Where are those tiny specks of success?
They're in isotope abundance of hydrogen (very low concentration of D and T isotopes), and in reaction alone of the most abundant hydrogen isotope - protium.

Here's fusion of Hydrogen (protium) and reason why it gives tiny percentage of He:

1-H + 1-H => 2-He (unstable isotope)
2-He => 2* 1-H (99.99%) + 2-H (<0.01%)
1-H + 2-H => 3-He

That's why "Despite the sun's high density, the low rate coefficient means a proton in the sun will exist for an average of billions of years before it fuses. By comparison, a deuteron in a magnetic fusion power plant would only exist for about 100 seconds, and a deuteron in an imploding, fully-burned inertial confinement pellet only for 1.0E-9 seconds."http://fusedweb.llnl.gov/cpep/chart_pages/3.HowFusionWorks.h...

It's actually very energy effecient, and we could become rich if we can confine energy in such small space. For example, for fusing 1 mol Fe (55.85 g) we only need less than half a kWh of energy. And if we consider losses and worst case, it not more than 1 kWh.
Also Iron is the most energy intensive to fuse, all others need less energy.

That calculation is based on the fact that all elements will fuse at energy < 10 MeV/nucleus.

Even if it would be 10 kWh, I would go for it, and become rich in a second!

[Edited on 10-10-2014 by AsocialSurvival]
Tdep
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The concerning thing to note is that this doesn't even happen the in the middle of the largest stars. Even protons and electrons get crushed together to form neutrons (which is some goddamn huge force) instead of Fe-56 fusing. You're talking not just the energy at the cores of neutron stars, but only supernova to do what you want to do.

I know sciencemadness has some wild ideas, but channeling supernovae in the hope of getting rich is pretty up there.
AsocialSurvival
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 Quote: Originally posted by Tdep The concerning thing to note is that this doesn't even happen the in the middle of the largest stars. Even protons and electrons get crushed together to form neutrons (which is some goddamn huge force) instead of Fe-56 fusing. You're talking not just the energy at the cores of neutron stars, but only supernova to do what you want to do. I know sciencemadness has some wild ideas, but channeling supernovae in the hope of getting rich is pretty up there.

Electrons are stripped off by heat, so they can't exist in a star.

From the point of view of energy, it is possible and very energy effecient.
From the point of view of confinement of that energy it looks complicated.
There are no any tricks there, we just use the certain amount of energy concentrated in small space. That is obviously possible. Why do you think nuclear bomb is so strong? Because tons of energy are concentrated on small space, but it is still the same energy. Next time you imagine nuclear bomb, imagine it like dropping million tons of wood on people and buildings. That's exactly what it is.

That's what am I trying to do. Go to forest, burn whole forest, make gold, bring it to city in my pocket, sell it, and finaly become rich. I wouldn't go without at least half a million dollars worth gold in my pocket.

The only reason why it sounds too good to be true is that people use gold as monetary exchange, they think it is hard to obtain, but that is no longer going to be true in case of my newly discovered nuclear fusion confinement solution.

Also, who said that confinement is impossible to attain. We can concentrate x-rays, lasers, electricity, explosions, thermites - all in one place! Maybe use superheated accelerator if no other possibilities Even heat the sorrounding environment to very high temperatures, just like air is preheated for Iron production from ore.

I bet that I can produce Gold in my home, without any danger. Maybe 1 gram at once is dangerous, but few miligrams or micrograms is not. And if repeated few times, we get a gram. I bet that I can hold artificial supernova in my pocket without getting burned if reaction rate is low enough (in the range few micrograms at once or less). Even one gram equals that amount of Gold found in one kg earth.

Also, gold price would collapse if everybody knew this method, so anybody interested must do it quickly before it gets discovered by government!

And if my calculations are correct, you can get a gold worth a car for a few chewing gums.

[Edited on 10-10-2014 by AsocialSurvival]
Tdep
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Well, alrighty then. Don't let me stop you.

But if you succeed, by all means get quite rich first but don't be an asshole and keep it all to yourself. Fuck the gold price, I wanna do some gold chemistry on the cheap.

Finally, I know gold is nice and all, but at some point we're gonna need the forests more than we need gold ok.
And turning gold into forests requires more than a pocket full of supernovae.
careysub
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 Quote: Originally posted by AsocialSurvival The concerningAlso, who said that confinement is impossible to attain. We can concentrate x-rays, lasers, electricity, explosions, thermites - all in one place! Maybe use superheated accelerator if no other possibilities Even heat the sorrounding environment to very high temperatures, just like air is preheated for Iron production from ore. ... And if my calculations are correct, you can get a gold worth a car for a few chewing gums.

a) What does "superheated accelerator" mean?
b) Analogies are useful for explaining physics and chemistry to the public, but they are not useful in actual physics or chemistry since we must instead deal with specific physical processes and associated laws and everything must be formulated using the precise details of those processes and law. Descriptive words don't cut the mustard.
c) What calculations have you done?

The subject of fusion confinement has been exhaustively explored by many of the best minds in the world for seven decades or so. Have you familiarized yourself with the work that has been done?

[Edited on 10-10-2014 by careysub]
careysub
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Mood: Lowest quantum state

 Quote: Originally posted by Tdep Yep, that guy's on it. The article wiki references: "According to the laws of black-body radiation, the wavelength trend corresponds to an exponential increase in temperatures as high as 100,000 kelvins. However, this does not take into account the high pressures in the bubble, which could produce much higher peak temperatures on the scale of millions of kelvins." Theoretical of course, and nanoseconds at best. But most definitely hot enough for fusion. And those Pistol shrimp guys are doing a basic version of this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKPrGxB1Kzc Also: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp

Energy focusing in implosion can produce extremely high temperature in a very small volume for a very short time very inefficiently (only a small fraction of the original energy gets to the center). High explosive generated implosions have produced detectable fusion in deuterium gas, and especially D-T gas. But no method has been found to turn that into any sort of useful process.
phlogiston
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An awesome project would be to make a Voitenko compressor at home and show that you can cause fusion with it!

-----
"If a rocket goes up, who cares where it comes down, that's not my concern said Wernher von Braun" - Tom Lehrer
TheAlchemistPirate
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I don't know much at all about this, but has anyone tried using lasers concentrated over an insanely small area? Wouldn't this (Theoretically shone on a material with no melting point) be able to make an unlimited amount of heat? (As long as the chamber or whatever is insulated well) (And electricity is continuously supplied)

"Is this even science anymore?!"
careysub
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 Quote: Originally posted by TheAlchemistPirate I don't know much at all about this, but has anyone tried using lasers concentrated over an insanely small area? Wouldn't this (Theoretically shone on a material with no melting point) be able to make an unlimited amount of heat? (As long as the chamber or whatever is insulated well) (And electricity is continuously supplied)

A vast amount of work, by groups all over the world.

Billions of dollars have been sunk in it.

Check out the National Ignition Facility:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility

It was originally budgeted at $1 billion, eary work began in 1994, and ground-breaking for the main facility was in 1999. Break-even ignition (fusion energy-to-laser energy ratio of 1) expected in 2004. It has now cost$4.5 billion, and in 2014 has yet to achieve break-even. Its best energy ratio to date is 0.0077.

This is the most advanced laser fusion facility in the world.
Artemus Gordon
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 Quote: Originally posted by AsocialSurvival I bet that I can produce Gold in my home, without any danger.

LOL!

Good luck to you! Maybe after you do that, you could invent a time machine too!
neptunium
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lets wait and see what Asocialsurvival has to say about this... i want to know more about pocket supernovae and deforestation for precious metal !

Zyklon-A
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 Quote: Originally posted by AsocialSurvival Electrons are stripped off by heat, so they can't exist in a star.

Eh, hehe.
Just because they're stripped from their shells doesn't mean they cease to exsit.

[EDIT] for my contribution to your knowledge, I demand 20% of the stock in your buisness, but will take no credit for any damage you do.
Best of luck in this season of joy!

[Edited on 6-12-2014 by Zyklon-A]
aga
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As a wild spanner, perhaps the reasoning and approach are all wrong ?

Not that i know anything at all ...

Perhaps, rather than trying to crush two hydrogen atoms together, start from Helium and see if there is a way to work backwards, in order to explore 'other' pathways.

Currently we have Iosotope decay, fusion and fission mechanisms that convert element A into element B.

It is likely that there are more than 3 ways to skin a cat.

P.S. if you make Gold from water, your Gold will pretty soon be worthless.

[Edited on 6-12-2014 by aga]

neptunium
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you mean some nuclear reactions we have not witnessed in nature and have not thought of yet?
you are making my cat very uncomfortable...

much like with the electron (chemistry) the only way to free up some energy is by combining and seperating nucleons . because the nuclear force is so much stronger that the electromagnetic force but act at much shorter distance makes fusion a real challenge.
nature does it by using one force (gravity) which is extremely weak , to confine hydrogen in astronomical quantity.

we tried with another force , electro-magntism, with mixed results.
outside of breaking and recombining nucleons to get the energy out , and using one universal force against another .. I think we will have to rethink the whole idea, get much more strategic, or abandond it completly.

aga
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Never assume that the Known body of science is 100% true, accurate, and immutable.
It's just the best it has ever been, at this point in time.

At one stage it was stated that What Goes Up Must Come Down, and this was taken as 100% true.
Only really works for a narrow range of Up-ness.

Personally i think it would be very interesting to play with magnetic and electrical fields, along with high masses and sharp temperature changes and electrical discharges, all occurring in varying patterns.

Basically vary all possible dimensions randomly and see what happens.

neptunium
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 Quote: Originally posted by aga Never assume that the Known body of science is 100% true, accurate, and immutable. It's just the best it has ever been, at this point in time.

thats absolutely true, thats why i wont dissmiss it but remain skeptical.
I have my own idea about how to make it work as well ...
Always interesting to read about other people`s idea i might learn something !
it just takes so much resources (money!!) its not impossible for the amateur like us but so consuming.. (i mean i/we have to work alot to make that money right? )

[Edited on 7-12-2014 by neptunium]

aga
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Skepticism is essential, especially as i have no proof whatsoever, nor any evidence to support anything i said, apart from the fact that 'how things work' gets re-discovered quite often, and tends to augment our understanding.

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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Special topics » Radiochemistry » Nuclear fusion's only obstacle: Confinement Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues