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Sonofusion_Paper-pdf_Lahey_NURETH-11.pdf

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The 11th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal-Hydraulics (NURETH-11) Popes’ Palace Conference Center, Avignon, France, October 2-6, 2005.

SONOFUSION – FACT OR FICTION?

Richard T. Lahey, Jr.1 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 12180-3590 USA laheyr@rpi.edu +1(518) 276-6614

Rusi P. Taleyarkhan Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA rusi@purdue.edu

Robert I. Nigmatulin Russian Academy of Sciences Ufa, Bashkortostan 450077 Russia nigmar@anrb.ru

ABSTRACT

Sonoluminescence and Sonofusion phenomena may occur when vapor bubbles implode. This paper reviews the status of our understanding of the bubble dynamics involved in these interesting phenomena. In particular, the experimental and analytical evidence supporting the observed production of neutrons and tritium due to thermonuclear fusion within imploding bubble clusters is reviewed. Moreover, potential methods to scale-up the neutron yield and some potential applications of this exciting new technology are discussed.

INTRODUCTION

Bubble dynamics is a large and interesting topic in the field of multiphase flow and heat transfer. An important subset of this topic has to do with Sonoluminescence and Sonofusion technology, and the latter will be the main focus of this paper. It should be noted that we will be concerned with the creation of conditions during the implosion of cavitation bubbles which are suitable for thermonuclear fusion (i.e., ultra-high temperatures, pressures and densities) rather than the conditions normally associated with “cold fusion.” Indeed, the physics of Sonofusion is that of thermonuclear fusion, and thus is quite different from any “new” physics which may be associated with “cold fusion.”

Let us begin with a review of Sonoluminescence. This is a phenomena in which light pulses are observed during ultrasonically-forced gas/vapor bubble implosions. This

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 Supercritical Fluid Extraction Sonofusion_Paper-pdf_Lahey_NURETH-11.pdf Page 001
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