Question 9: What factors make a fusion reaction difficult to achieve?
There are three main difficulties to achieve fusion reaction.
- In fusion, two smaller nuclei fuse (combine) together to form a relatively large nucleus. Since both nuclei have the same nature of charge, therefore a Coulomb repulsive force come to play. If the nuclei have to combine, they must overcome this repulsive force. A great deal of energy is required for them to attain a speed that when they collide they blend with one another. A temperature of approximately 109 K is required that may dispense the nuclei with such a high speed. Practically, this is not possible in our normal environment.
- The second difficulty is confining the fusing nuclei at such a high temperature. At such a high temperature, the atoms are ionized and exist in plasma state. We need a container to keep the plasma in. Practically, any container will vaporize at a temperature as high as 109
- Fusion happens to occur in a number of processes which needs a very long time complete.