A 100-watt laser power could create a megawatt nuclear fusion generator. This would provide a total energy gain of more than ten thousand.
It would have deuterium-tritium as fuel. It would use a novel muon generator to produce 1 MW thermal power. The thermal power using pure deuterium as fuel may be up to 220 kW initially: It will increase with time up to over 1 MW due to the production of tritium in one reaction branch.
The reactor would generate neutrons so thick shielding would be needed.
Prior Lab Proof of High Energy Nuclear Fusion Reactions
The Prof Lief Holmlid research group has published studies that prove the formation of mesons and muons with up to 100 MeV u−1 energy by laser-initiated processes in ultra-dense deuterium D(0) and ultra-dense protium.
The extreme density of ultra-dense deuterium D(0) makes it an excellent fuel for nuclear fusion by inertial confinement fusion. The density is so high that only an exciting laser pulse is required and no further compression is needed to reach nuclear reaction conditions.
Gamma radiation and lepton pair production are observed from these nuclear processes, as well as 4He and 3He ejection. The total energy in the ejected particles is so large that the nuclear reaction process is above break-even. The nuclear processes taking place are both laser-induced nucleon + nucleon annihilation–like processes2–6 and ordinary D + D fusion partly of the muon-catalyzed type.
Ultra-dense hydrogen is a quantum material at room temperature. The protons and Deuterium have been measured as being 2.3 picometers apart. Laser pulses bring them to within 0.56 picometers apart. Ultradense protium is both superfluid and superconductive at room temperature.
Spontaneous ejection of mega-electron-volt particles has indeed been observed as spontaneous reactions. Particle energies up to 50 MeV u−1 have been reported in laser-induced experiments. Recently even faster particles with relativistic energies have been observed.
The total process giving the negative muons required for muon-catalyzed fusion starts with the ultra-dense hydrogen particles HN(0), and is proposed to be
The process shown is highly exoergic and gives 390 MeV to the three mesons ejected from each pair of protons, and 111 MeV in total if a further pion pair is created. This should be compared to ordinary D + D fusion, which has an output per pair of deuterons of only 14 MeV.
Catalyzing Ultra-dense Hydrogen and Then Capture and Accumulate it
Hydrogen transfer catalysts can configured to cause a transition of the hydrogen into the ultra-dense state if the hydrogen atoms are prevented from re-forming covalent bonds. The mechanisms behind the catalytic transition from the gaseous state to the ultra-dense state are quite well understood, and it has been experimentally shown that this transition can be achieved using various hydrogen transfer catalysts, including, for example, commercially available so-called styrene catalysts, as well as (purely) metallic catalysts.
Muons can be generated cheaper and more energy efficiently than using conventional methods, by accumulating ultra-dense hydrogen and subjecting the accumulated ultra-dense hydrogen to a perturbing field.
Ultra-dense hydrogen can be accumulated by providing a downward sloping surface between one or several supply locations for ultra-dense hydrogen and an accumulation portion. Through this configuration, gravity and feed gas flow will co-operate to move the ultra-dense hydrogen from the supply locations to the accumulation portion, where ultra-dense hydrogen is thus accumulated and can be subjected to the perturbing field, such as laser radiation, to generate muons.
The hydrogen accumulator may further comprise: a hydrogen flow barrier surrounding the receiving portion, the accumulation portion and the downward sloping surface for reducing escape of hydrogen in the ultra-dense state from the receiving portion away from the accumulation portion. Due to the super-fluid properties of ultra-dense hydrogen, the ultra-dense hydrogen will flow upwards, away from the accumulating portion. The provision of the above-mentioned hydrogen flow barrier can prevent, or at least substantially reduce the escape of ultra-dense hydrogen, which is due to the super-fluid properties of the ultra-dense hydrogen. Accordingly, the ratio of accumulated ultra-dense hydrogen to escaped ultra-dense hydrogen can be increased, which in turn provides for more efficient muon generation.
The patent is for a device for generating muons, comprising:
* a hydrogen accumulator including an inlet;
* an outlet separated from the inlet by a flow path;
* a hydrogen transfer catalyst arranged along the flow path between the inlet and the outlet; and
* an accumulating member for receiving hydrogen in ultra-dense state from the outlet at a receiving portion of the accumulating member and accumulating the hydrogen in the ultra-dense state at an accumulation portion of the accumulating member.
* The accumulating member has a downward sloping surface from the receiving portion to the accumulation portion. It has also several advanced features for handling the superfluid ultra-dense material like a barrier and a shield.
* The apparatus further includes a field source, such as a laser, arranged to provide, to the accumulation portion of the accumulating member, a field adapted to stimulate emission of negative muons from hydrogen in the ultra-dense state.
Patent for Fusion Reactor
An apparatus for generating muons, comprising: a hydrogen accumulator including an inlet;an outlet separated from the inlet by a flow path; a hydrogen transfer catalyst arranged along the flow path between the inlet and the outlet;and an accumulating member for receiving hydrogen in ultra-dense state from the outlet at a receiving portion of the accumulating member and accumulating the hydrogen in the ultra-dense state at an accumulation portion of the accumulating member. The accumulating member has a downward sloping surface from the receiving portion to the accumulation portion. The apparatus further includes a field source, such as a laser,arranged to provide, to the accumulation portion of the accumulating member, a field adapted to stimulate emission of negative muons from hydrogen in the ultra-dense state. The apparatus further includes a specially designed barrier and a shield to retain the super-fluid ultra-dense hydrogen from creeping away from the accumulation portion of the generator.
The total fusion power with of 7000 trillion muons per second with the existing muon generator will be 15.2 kilowatts.
There would be 30,000 trillion D + D reactions per second. This corresponds in turn to 50 nmol of D2 gas, or 0.2 micrograms D2 consumed per second. 1.6 mol D2 per year would produce 130 MW·hours of heat.
Reactions convert the deuterons to T (tritium) and 3He (Helium 3). The fusion power after 50% conversion to tritium would be 1.53 megawatts. The estimated time for such a degree of conversion is of the order of years, depending on how much gas is used in the reactor.
Without tritium extraction, the power of the reactor may thus increase from 12.9 kW to 1.6 MW in a period of a few years.
The total power added from the decay of the initial mesons formed by the laser-induced nuclear processes will be at least 220 kilowatts.
An optimal reactor design may give a starting power of the order of 220 kW with pure D2 fuel and increasing to at least 1.7 MW after a few years of operation.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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