Chapter 659 Amazing Experimental Results
Bubbles in a liquid could be stably suspended and periodically pulsated by a certain sound field. When it reached a collapse, within picoseconds, the bubble could produce a volumetric compression ratio of one to a million and create a high temperature and high pressure environment. When the sound pressure was large enough, the energy accumulation would cause the bubbles to illuminate. This phenomenon was called sonoluminescence.
In a proper driving pressure environment, the sonoluminescence bubbles could remain spherical. The nonlinear vibration was repeated for millions or even hundreds of millions of cycles. Because of this characteristic, controllable fusion could possibly be achieved under relatively low-temperature conditions.
Inside the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study.
The acoustics laboratory in the Institute of Physics was temporarily taken over by a controllable fusion miniaturization team led by Lu Zhou. A transparent container with a radius of around three inches was placed on one of the tables in the laboratory.
The entire transparent container was filled with a viscous concentrated sulfuric acid. High-powered ultrasonic generators were attached to both sides of the container. Various sophisticated instruments were placed around the entire unit, and they were ready to collect experimental data.
Because the sonoluminescence phenomenon happened at the picosecond scale, it was difficult for laboratory cameras to capture all the light flash, especially at the moment when the bubble collapsed to its smallest size.
Therefore, for this experiment, Lu Zhou borrowed a set of a phase-locked loop-based proportional-integral experimental system from the Jin Ling University Institute of Acoustics.
Other than being used in these special acoustic experiments, this system was generally used to study anti-submarine sonar systems. If it werent for Lu Zhou personally asking for the favor, the Institute of Acoustics director would never in a million years have lent out the equipment.
Sheng Xianfu was standing next to the experiment device, and he looked at Lu Zhou.
Lu Zhou nodded.
Sheng Xianfu took a deep breath and walked to the nearest computer. He then swiftly pressed a few buttons.
As a short mosquito-like buzzing sound was heard, the high-powered ultrasonic generator began to release ultrasonic waves into the solution, transferring large amounts of energy.
When the sound pressure in the fluid reached five times the standard atmospheric pressure, Lu Zhou ordered.
Inject the xenon!
The xenon gas was injected, and a series of bubbles slowly floated from the bottom of the container to the center.
Immediately after, the power of the ultrasonic transmitter began to gradually increase, and the sound pressure applied to the bubble also began to increase.
The moment the sound pressure on the bubble reached 15 times the standard atmospheric pressure, the xenon bubble floating in the concentrated sulfuric acid popped with a purple-white light!
The researchers standing around the experiment had a look of joy on their faces.
Even though this was only a test of the experiment device, and they were a long way from succeeding, this was definitely a good start.
The bubbles suspended in the fluid continuously flashed 10 sets of light-rays, and the photos were captured by the phase-locked loop-based proportional-integral imaging system. Several acoustic physicists at the Institute for Advanced Study immediately began to analyze the photos and calculate the luminescence temperature and power.
After Lu Zhou looked at the experimental data, he glanced at Sheng Xianfu.
The luminous power was around 130W. Even though it was gone in a flash, it was still quite astonishing. The peak temperature of the bubble surface reached a terrifying number of 1.5 million kelvin. It was like the inside of the sun was floating in the solution!
Of course, this data could be inaccurate.
After all, the collapse of the bubble happened instantaneously. It wasnt easy to capture the temperature in the first place, much less reducing the data collection error.
The first phase of the experiment was successful, lets enter the next stage, Lu Zhou said. He placed the experimental report on the table and said to Sheng Xianfu, Add a neutron shielding layer to the container and prepare for a deuterium-tritium gas injection!
Sheng Xianfu nodded seriously and said, Ok!
The first stage of the experiment was a test of whether or not the design of the set-up was feasible and whether or not they could provide enough sound pressure to the bubble such that the temperature could reach more than a million kelvin.
It seemed like their experiment was very successful.
The xenon floating in the fluid was compressed to a tiny point, and inside that point was energy equivalent to that of a tiny star.
Even though it was at a temperature in the millions and was still far from controllable fusion ignition, the temperature wasnt the only way to achieve fusion ignition.
Not only did the bubble reach millions of kelvin, but it was also at a terrifying density level!
And density was the other condition for fusion reaction!
The researchers in the laboratory placed a transparent container in a black box, which was made of neutron-shielding material. They turned off the phase-locked loop-based proportional-integral imaging system and began to set-up the experiment again.
However, this time, the xenon was changed to a deuterium-tritium gas mixture. The ultrasonic power also increased by a whole magnitude.
The experiment began.
Even though the black box blocked the researchers view, it didnt really matter.
Some things didnt need to be seen by the naked eye, and experimental data was often more reliable.
The researchers took out the concentrated sulfuric acid container and began to analyze the radiation damage and neutron fluence rate.
Lu Zhou was standing next to the researchers, quietly waiting for the experimental result.
Ten minutes passed by.
The results finally came out.
The results are here! a researcher happily said. He handed Lu Zhou the completed experimental report and said excitedly, Through the neutron shielding material detection, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the surface of the material was bombarded with 2.5 MeV neutrons during the experiment The neutron fluence rate increased by 1.7%
We have confirmation that the fusion reaction has occurred!
Everyone in the laboratory was excited, and they nearly started to cheer.
Especially Sheng Xianfu!
He tightly clenched his fists.
This might work!
There wasnt anyone more excited than him.
However, even though the experimental results were gratifying, the neutron fluence rate wasnt optimal.
They only observed signs of fusion reactions occurring. They were still far from using this set-up for stable controllable fusion reactions.
Professor Li Changxia stared at the data in the experimental report and said, The neutron fluence rate is way too low. If we want to achieve a stable controllable fusion reaction this magnitude of the sound wave might not be enough.
Lu Zhou nodded seriously, and he said, Youre right, with our current set-up, its difficult to achieve stable controllable fusion reactions. I think we have to replace the fluid.
Professor Li Changxia asked, What kind of fluid do you plan on using?
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, I dont know, but I do have a rough idea.
Yes. Lu Zhou nodded and said, Since traditional liquids cant reach the requirements under room temperature, why dont we try liquid metals? I think liquid lithium might be worth trying