EQUINOX GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EQUINOX GRAPHICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of the D-D reaction that could be harnessed to provide fusion power. In this reaction, two deuterium nuclei (hydrogen-2) collide and fuse, forming a helium-3 nucleus and emitting a neutron (yellow). The D-D reaction can also produce a tritium (hydrogen-3) nucleus with proton emission (see clip K003/3976). There have been several attempts to harness nuclear fusion to produce energy, but there are several technical obstacles. The production of neutrons is one of the most serious. Being electrically neutral they can escape the confinement field, carrying off energy and rendering the reaction chamber radioactive. For this reason, reactions that do not produce neutrons are also being investigated, such as the H-B reaction in clip K003/3973.
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