In fusion terminology, what does it imply by taking orientational

Jazlyn Raymond 2022-04-12 Answered
In fusion terminology, what does it imply by taking orientational average of the fusion cross section when one of the nuclei has some static deformation/orientation? How is this average taken?
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Answers (1)

Braxton Gallagher
Answered 2022-04-13 Author has 21 answers
It means that you're accounting for the fact that the spins of the nuclei in the fusion interaction aren't (or are, perhaps) oriented in a particular way. For instance, consider the D-T fusion reaction
2 H + 3 H 4 H e + n + 18 M e V
The deuteron 2 H (or d) has nuclear spin , while the triton 3 H (or t) has nuclear spin 1 2 . But the final state, 4 H e + n, has spin 1 2 . If the deuteron and the triton happen to interact with their spins aligned, the minimum angular momentum in the system is 3 2 , and the final state can't occur unless there's some orbital angular momentum to it. Most of the fusion will occur from collisions where the d and t spins happen to be anti-aligned with each other. Neglecting to account the times when the d and t are aligned parallel, and the fusion coefficient is much smaller, would overestimate the cross section by a factor of 2 3 , or thereabouts.
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