Is it possible to test the sonofusion with the deuterium-tritium reaction?
The research on sonofusion tries to obtain nuclear fusion in deuterated liquids. In a typical experiment of sonofusion, a beam of neutrons generates tiny bubbles in the liquid. An ultrasound field expands and contracts these bubbles. The nuclear fusion could occur when the collapse of bubbles is sufficiently fast to generate an intense shock wave. The last experiment of Rusi Taleyarkhan and his team has demonstrated the emission of neutrons in deuterated acetone.
With deuterated products, the possible reactions are:
D + D > He3 + n
D + D > T + H
These reactions are not easy whereas the reaction between deuterium and tritium is the easier reaction of nuclear fusion:
D + T > He4 + n
If we could test the sonofusion with a mix of deuterium and tritium, the signs of fusion could be more evident. But the use of tritium is very expensive because it doesn’t exist in nature. It must be generated by a nuclear reaction:
Li6 + n > He4 + T
So the test of sonofusion with the DT reaction obliges the use of a very small amount of tritium.
A mean to limit the amount of tritium in a sonofusion experiment could be the use of tritiated tensioactive molecules.
These molecules, dissolved in heavy water, could be like for example CH3-(CH2)n-phenyl-SO3 Na (alkyl-phenyl-sulfonate) where one or several hydrogen atoms are replaced by tritium atoms.
When this sort of solution is exposed in sonofusion experiment, the neutron beam generates bubbles. These bubbles grow during the depressive phase of the sonic wave.
What could be the comportment of tensioactive molecules? I propose two hypothesis:
– the tensioactive molecule that encounters the surface of the bubble remains glued on this surface by its apolar part,
– when the compressive phase of sonic wave occurs, the bubble surface drags the tensioactive molecules.
By this way, a mix of deuterated water molecules and tritiated tensioactive molecules could be concentrated on the top of the shock wave in final collapse of bubble.
If this scheme works, it could be possible to study the sonofusion of deuterium and tritium in heavy water.
The synthesis of tritiated molecules is a standard technique, particularly for the biological research. Used as a radioactive marker, the tritium permits the study of chemical or biological reactions.
A very small amount of tritium seems to me sufficient to start D-T reactions. Some calculations and hypothesis suggest that sonofusion with tritium could be tested with a solution of heavy water containing less than 100 micromoles of tritium per liter.