Friday, February 18, 2005
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
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"Acoustic Inertial Confinement Nuclear Fusion - Status and Challenges"

Rusi P. Taleyarkhan , The Purdue University
[Host: Craig Dukes]
Energetic bubble implosions can generate sonoluminescence (SL) light flashes along with extreme states of compression and temperatures. In cavitation experiments with chilled deuterated acetone, neutron and tritium nuclear emissions were detected, indicative of thermonuclear fusion. The neutron emissions were time correlated with SL light emission. The gamma ray emissions were delayed as would be expected from neutron slowing down and capture. Control experiments with normal acetone did not result in tritium activity or neutron emissions. Fusion was observed during experiments in which the nanoscale nucleation of bubbles was induced in chilled deuterated acetone using a pulse neutron generator as well as with an isotope neutron source. Video images clearly indicate the existing of complex bubble clusters when bubble fusion occurs, and also the formation of comet-like structures which were detrimental to bubble nuclear fusion. Hydrodynamic shock code simulations have supported the experimental findings and indicate temperatures during implosion in the 108K range along with Gbar shock pressures in the imploding bubbles within bubble clusters, but not in single bubble environments. Recent results of experiments will be presented along with discussions related to key technical challenges concerning modeling and experimentation.

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