VanDevender, J. Pace Formerly, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Additional Readings
The fusion of two nuclei that occurs in a high-temperature mixture of ions and electrons when the ion velocity is sufficient to overcome electrostatic repulsion in a collision between nuclei. Since the probability of the reaction is small for a single collision, ions must collide many times before fusing and must not lose their energy in the collisions. Therefore, the ions and electrons must be at the same high temperature, so the process is often called thermonuclear fusion. Thermonuclear reactions, the source of energy generation in the Sun and the stable stars, are utilized in the fusion bomb. See also: Hydrogen bomb; Nuclear fusion; Stellar evolution; Sun
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