Quark fusion Energy in a Nuclear Fusion: Scientists have conquered considerable barriers in the past year to make us closer to nuclear fusion, and with it a near-limitless source of clean energy. But, what if there is something far more successful on the market? According to researchers at Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago, there is also, and it involves the fusion of elementary particles called quarks — the resulting energy where would be 10 times that of nuclear fusion.
Quarks not to be confused with the alien from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are tiny particles which compose the neutrons and protons inside atoms. They come in six different types, together with scientists referring to them regarding three pairs: up-down; appeal, strange; and top, bottom. To find out more, researchers in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have been smashing atoms together at high speeds. Doing so, causes these parts to split from their parent atoms, and then fuse with other particles, making baryons.
Prior research indicates that energy is produced when quarks bind together. By looking into the one-such phenomenon (a doubly-charmed baryon), the physicists found it would take 130 megaelectronvolts (MeV) of power to force two charm quarks together. On top of this, the fusion ends up releasing much more energy, around 12 MeV.
Motivated with their findings, they then focussed on the much-heavier bottom quarks. The same binding procedure, they claim, would release approximately 138 MeV, which is nearly eight times as far as hydrogen fusion (which also powers hydrogen bombs). This set off alarm bells, with the investigators hesitating to go public with their findings.
“If I believed for a microsecond that this had any military applications, I wouldn’t have published it,” professor Marek Karliner told Live Science. However, further calculations indicated that inducing a chain reaction with quarks would be impossible — primarily because they do not exist long enough to place off each other. Plus, there is the fact that this type of bottom quark combination is entirely theoretical.
Whereas the researchers didn’t fuse bottom quarks themselves; they claim it’s technically attainable in the LHC.