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Title: Polyneutron Chain Reactions

Polyneutron Chain Reactions Although helium atoms do not form molecules, a sufficiently large number will bind into a stable liquid droplet. A comparable situation is expected for neutrons, with a sufficiently large number binding into a stable droplet of neutron matter. Such polyneutron droplets can be viewed as isotopes of an element with nuclear charge Z=0, tentatively denoted neutrium, symbol Nt. Because of the relatively weak binding of neutrons compared with that of a mix of neutrons and protons, the minimum number of neutrons required for stability of a droplet is fairly large. Early estimates of {approx}60 may be reduced to a dozen or so by the BCS pairing interaction. The Nt entries with N{>=}12 are new to the table of isotopes. Because all of them are beta-unstable, none is expected to persist as a free particle. Yet, some may occasionally be produced by means to be described below, and it is of interest to examine their decay chains and their interactions with charged nuclei to ascertain how their presence might be revealed. Although these reactions are interesting, they cannot be taken seriously without identifying a source for the initial Nt isotope that begins the chain. Here, we consider possible interactions between {sup more » 16}O and {sup A}Nt. Although there is no strong interaction between them, we can expect a very weak residual attraction that can form a loosely bound {sup 16}O {sup A}Nt nuclear molecule. This is not a compound nucleus in the usual sense because, considered as fluids, the {sup 16}O and {sup A}Nt droplets are immiscible. For a droplet with fewer than about 60 neutrons, beta decay of {sup A}Nt is prevented by the buildup of Coulomb energy associated with transforming {sup A}Nt into {sup A}H in close proximity to {sup 16}O. Thus, it is possible that {sup 16}O {sup A}Nt molecules can persist indefinitely and that a few of them may be present in ordinary water as supermassive oxygen nuclei. Because the binding of these molecules is weak, the {sup A}Nt component can tunnel to an adjacent nucleus, and if the adjacent nucleus is {sup 18}O, a chain reaction can begin. The circumstances under which it can develop to produce macroscopic consequences depend on the mix of reactants and upon the appropriate removal of poisons and addition of fresh reactants to the reaction volume. With the proper conditions, there can be generation of sensible excess energy, helium, and other reaction products associated with the various cold fusion reactions. « less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 787497
Report Number(s):none; ISSN 0003-018X; CODEN TANSAO
ISSN 0003-018X; CODEN TANSAO; TRN: US0109408
Resource Type:Conference
Resource Relation:Conference: 2000 International Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology: Supporting Sustainable Development Worldwide (2000 ANS Winter Meeting), Washington, DC (US), 11/12/2000--11/16/2000; Other Information: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, Volume 83; PBD: 12 Nov 2000
Research Org:Neutronics Corporation, Carpinteria, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:none (US)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; ATOMIC NUMBER; BETA DECAY; CHAIN REACTIONS; COLD FUSION; COULOMB ENERGY; NUCLEAR MATTER; NUCLEAR MOLECULES; PAIRING INTERACTIONS; STRONG INTERACTIONS; OXYGEN 16; OXYGEN 18 NUCLEAR MATTER; NUCLEAR MOLECULES; BETA-MINUS DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; CHAIN REACTIONS; OXYGEN ISOTOPES; OXYGEN 16; OXYGEN 18