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Thread: Fission vs Fusion

  1. #1 Fission vs Fusion 
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    I am a student studying for my doctorate's degree in nuclear physics and would love to discuss these differences and similarities.


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  3. #2  
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    I'm not an expert or anything what I know about fission is that it is sort of good for producing power. It has its drawbacks in that it relies on absorption as a control and if it gets out of hand it can cause a dangerous glow that can last a thousand years. Fusion seems a little different in that it produces energy while fusing elements together. It also has drawbacks in that it interacts fusing most containment material. It has to be contained using a magnetic field. Fusion works real good for stars. It would probably also good for space propulsion where it dosen't need a containment field using just an open fuel material supply. Probably also hard to shut the thing off.


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    Outside of my comfort zone. HBH has discussed the two from the viewpoint of power generation. I imagine you were wanting to focus more on mechanism. From that standpoint the two seem radically different. (different mechanisms, different forces at work, different locations, differ rates, different controlling conditions) The only similarity I see is that a great deal of energy is released from small masses. You are training to become the expert. What do you see as the similarities? (I guess we should add that in each case we end up with different elements.)
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  5. #4  
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    The important differences: Fission reactions create by-products (radio isotopes) many of which are very long-lived, dangerous to handle and store, and nigh unto impossible to get rid of (blast them out into outer space?).

    Fusion reactions create fewer, in some instances NO, dangerous by-products (this concern depending on possible creation of radioactive substances due to neutron irradiation of surrounding substances.

    Thus, fission might be called "dirty", fusion might be called "clean".

    It's all subjective. jocular
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