Tag: Nuclear Fusion

Pique the Geek 20100328: Nuclear Fusion: Hell on Earth

There was no Pique the Geek last week because I was preparing for Youngest Son to visit.  We had a great time last week, cooking, eating, throwing darts, and rebonding.  For those of you interested in what we ate, I hosted What’s for Dinner last evening, here.

It is not either possible nor feasible to attempt the fusion that Sol does here on earth because of the impossibility of gathering enough mass to make a very slow reaction work (remember, fusing two protons to a deuteron requires the involvement of the weak nuclear force, and that is a very slow process), nor the temperatures required to make that happen.

Please see the two previous installments of this series here and here, to make things more clear.

Pique the Geek 20100228: Energy from Fusion. Overview

Nuclear fusion is often proffered as the final solution to our energy needs.  That well may be, but hardly anyone understands what it means, and almost no one, outside of physicists, knows how it relates to nuclear fission (the power source that we use now).

It all has to do with Dr. Einstein’s simple, but seminal equation, E = mc2.  This means that mass can be converted to energy in a huge fashion.  Let us take a kilogram of mass, any mass, and convert it to energy.  Using the formula, and it has been proved over and over to be correct, one kilogram of mass (think of a big sirloin steak, for example) becomes a LOT of energy.

According to the equation, that kilogram of mass becomes thus:

E = (1 kg)(2.9979 x 108 m/s)2  = 8.99 x 1016 Joules

This is almost 90,000 billions of Joules.  We are talking big energy.  But it does happen quite like this.  Only in matter-antimatter annihilation does all mass become energy.

Pique the Geek 20100228: Energy from Fusion. Overview

Nuclear fusion is often proffered as the final solution to our energy needs.  That well may be, but hardly anyone understands what it means, and almost no one, outside of physicists, knows how it relates to nuclear fission (the power source that we use now).

It all has to do with Dr. Einstein’s simple, but seminal equation, E = mc2.  This means that mass can be converted to energy in a huge fashion.  Let us take a kilogram of mass, any mass, and convert it to energy.  Using the formula, and it has been proved over and over to be correct, one kilogram of mass (think of a big sirloin steak, for example) becomes a LOT of energy.

According to the equation, that kilogram of mass becomes thus:

E = (1 kg)(2.9979 x 108 m/s)2  = 8.99 x 1016 Joules

This is almost 90,000 billions of Joules.  We are talking big energy.  But it does happen quite like this.  Only in matter-antimatter annihilation does all mass become energy.

Pique the Geek 20100228: Energy from Fusion. Overview

Nuclear fusion is often proffered as the final solution to our energy needs.  That well may be, but hardly anyone understands what it means, and almost no one, outside of physicists, knows how it relates to nuclear fission (the power source that we use now).

It all has to do with Dr. Einstein’s simple, but seminal equation, E = mc2.  This means that mass can be converted to energy in a huge fashion.  Let us take a kilogram of mass, any mass, and convert it to energy.  Using the formula, and it has been proved over and over to be correct, one kilogram of mass (think of a big sirloin steak, for example) becomes a LOT of energy.

According to the equation, that kilogram of mass becomes thus:

E = (1 kg)(2.9979 x 108 m/s)2  = 8.99 x 1016 Joules

This is almost 90,000 billions of Joules.  We are talking big energy.  But it does happen quite like this.  Only in matter-antimatter annihilation does all mass become energy.