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Thread: Does Fusion break the laws of physics?

  1. #1 Does Fusion break the laws of physics? 
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    Please see article below:http://news.sciencemag.org/physics/2...ly-%E2%80%A6It states that even though it is too early to write home about, there was an experiment where after the 1.8 MJ to power the laser that 14 KJ of energy was left over.Does this not defy Newtons laws of Thermodynamics? What about conservation of energy?I read somewhere that in most reactions the resultant 'particles' weigh a little less than they did before the reaction, and that it is this loss of mass that gives us the output we use everyday (such as in our cars) - is this why (if true) that fusion works with and not contradict the current laws of physics?Thanks!


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    My first post messed up - I cannot seem to edit it (times out), please see second attempt below...Please see article below:http://news.sciencemag.org/physics/2...ly-%E2%80%A6It states that even though it is too early to write home about, there was an experiment where after the 1.8 MJ to power the laser that 14 KJ of energy was left over. Does this not defy Newtons laws of Thermodynamics? What about conservation of energy?I read somewhere that in most reactions the resultant 'particles' weigh a little less than they did before the reaction, and that it is this loss of mass that gives us the output we use everyday (such as in our cars) - is this why (if true) that fusion works with and not contradict the current laws of physics? Thanks!


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    Third attempt...Please see article below:
    http://news.sciencemag.org/physics/2...ly-%E2%80%A6
    It states that even though it is too early to write home about, there was an experiment where after the 1.8 MJ to power the laser that 14 KJ of energy was left over. Does this not defy Newtons laws of Thermodynamics? What about conservation of energy?I read somewhere that in most reactions the resultant 'particles' weigh a little less than they did before the reaction, and that it is this loss of mass that gives us the output we use everyday (such as in our cars) - is this why (if true) that fusion works with and not contradict the current laws of physics? Thanks!
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    Thanks PhDemon - that answers my question - mass is lost so energy is conserved.If mass is lost does that not make it a different element? What type of mass is lost?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    The link seems to be broked in your post(s). It should be: Fusion "Breakthrough" at NIF? Uh, Not Really

    As you suspect, fusion does not break the laws of physics because the mass of a helium atom (two protons and two neutrons) is less than the mass of two deuterium atoms (1 proton and 1 neutron each). The extra mass of the deuterium atoms comes from the energy binding the nuclei together; this is what is released in fusion.

    Notes:

    1. We can ignore the mass of the electrons as they don't take part in the reaction.
    2. The process is somewhat more complex than just merging two deuterium atoms to form a helium atom. But the principle is there.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Thanks strange - do you know what type of energy 'binds' the nuclei?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman57 View Post
    Thanks strange - do you know what type of energy 'binds' the nuclei?
    Um ... binding energy?

    Ultimately, it is a result of the strong nuclear force (which binds the quarks together in the protons and neutrons - a little bit of that "leaks" and holds the nucleus together). But it is way over my head.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Thanks strange - strong nuclear force sounds good to me, do they have any particles for this yet (if ever) or is the higgs boson expected to help with this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman57 View Post
    Thanks strange - strong nuclear force sounds good to me, do they have any particles for this yet (if ever) or is the higgs boson expected to help with this?
    That''ll be the gluon.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Awesome! So its not too over your head then...rather in your head?
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    Thanks by the way - I feel a new man with all this new found knowledge...
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    The first thermodynamic textbook was written in 1859 by William Rankine, originally trained as a physicist and a civil and mechanical engineering professor at the University of Glasgow.[35] The first and second laws of thermodynamics emerged simultaneously in the 1850s, primarily out of the works of William Rankine, Rudolf Clausius, and William Thomson (Lord Kelvin).

    I think you were confusing Newton's Laws of Motion =3
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  15. #14  
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    Velexia - my apologies for that! Thanks.
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    Nothing to be sorry about, I just though it was interesting, relevant information that I dug up because of the thread, so I thought I'd share it =)
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