AP Chemistry - Nuclear Worksheet #5
Fusion
1. There is a gain in binding energy per nucleon when light nuclei fuse to form heavier nuclei. Why, therefore, don't a tritium atom and a deuterium atom, in a mixture of these isotopes, just spontaneously fuse to give helium (and energy)?
 
2. The word plasma is used in discussion of nuclear fusion. What does this word mean? 
 
3. What is the Lawson criterion and how does it serve in research on nuclear fusion? 
 
4. When inertial confinement of tritium and deuterium within a pellet is used, how does laser energy interact with the pellet and initiate nuclear fusion? 
 
5. What purpose is served by a molten lithium "blanket" around the chamber where lasers and fuel pellets interact? 
6. Why is an isotope of hydrogen a better candidate for nuclear fusion than an isotope of helium?