Accelerator-based fusion with a low temperature target
Neutron generators are in use in a number of scientific and commercial endeavors. They function by triggering fusion reactions between accelerated ions (usually deuterons) and a stationary cold target (e.g., containing tritium). This setup has the potential to generate energy. It has been shown that if the energy transfer between injected ions and target electrons is sufficiently small, net energy gain can be achieved. Three possible avenues are: (a) a hot target with high electron temperature,
... ectron temperature, (b) a cold non-neutral target with an electron deficiency, or (c) a cold target with a high Fermi energy. A study of the third possibility is reported in light of recent research that points to a new phase of hydrogen, which is hypothesized to be related to metallic hydrogen. As such, the target is considered to be composed of nuclei and delocalized electrons. The electrons are treated as conduction electrons, with the average minimum excitation energy being approximately equal to 40% of the Fermi energy. The Fermi energy is directly related to the electron density. Preliminary results indicate that if the claimed electron densities in the new phase of hydrogen were achieved in a target, the energy transfer to electrons would be small enough to allow net energy gain.