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Nuclear Engineering and Design 235 (2005) 1317–1324

Confirmatory experiments for nuclear emissions during acoustic cavitation

Yiban Xu a,∗, Adam Butt a,b

a School of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA

b School of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA Received 13 January 2005; received in revised form 14 January 2005; accepted 7 February 2005

Confirmatory experiments were conducted to assess the potential for nuclear fusion related emissions of neutrons and tritium during neutron-seeded acoustic cavitation of deuterated acetone. Corresponding control experiments were conducted with nor- mal acetone. Statistically significant (5–11S.D. increased) emissions of 2.45 MeV neutrons and tritium were measured during cavitation experiments with chilled deuterated acetone. Control experiments with normal acetone and irradiation alone did not result in tritium activity or neutron emissions. Insights from imaging studies of bubble clusters and shock trace signals relating to bubble nuclear fusion are discussed.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

1. Introduction

It is well-known (Gross, 1984) that the thermonu- clear fusion of deuterium (D) atoms requires high pres- sures, high temperatures and sufficient length of con- finement time. The intense implosive collapse of bub- bles, including acoustic cavitation bubbles, can lead to extremely high compressions and temperatures, and

Abbreviations: DPM, disintegrations per minute; PNG, pulse neutron generator; PRE, proton recoil edge; PSD, pulse shape dis- crimination; S.D., standard deviation; SL, sonoluminescence

∗ Correspondingauthor.

E-mail addresses: (Y. Xu),

(A. Butt).

0029-5493/$ – see front matter. Published by Elsevier B.V. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2005.02.021

to the generation of light flashes attributed to sono- luminescence and involves energy focusing of ∼1011 (Crum and Matula, 1997; Camara et al., 2004). The possibility of using the phenomenon of sonolumines- cence for attaining thermonuclear fusion in collapsing gas–vapor cavities has been predicted theoretically as a possibility if appropriate techniques and methodolo- gies were discovered and developed to lead to intense- enough compressions and heating (Moss et al., 1996; Nigmatulin et al., 2004; Taleyarkhan et al., 2004b). Taleyarkhan et al. (2002, 2004a) provided experimental evidence of such nuclear emissions using the novel ex- perimental technique and approaches they developed. In this methodology, neutrons are used (much like in a conventional fission reactor where neutrons inter-

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