@'padam73:

*I beg to disagree. You apply a classical approach here while*

quantum tunneling matters at these distances. In his seminal

article of 1928, Gamow showed that the tunneling probability is

dominated by the tail of the Coulomb barrier and not by the

barrier peak closer to the nucleus. At the beginning many found

this illogical (as often in science...) however this is been amply

confirmed by experiments. In practice, it has been shown that

quantum tunneling may already apply with barriers of thickness in

the nm range.

I did the calculations using Gamow formalism and if ones

removes the tail of the Coulomb barrier until 2pm, i.e. ~2 orders

of magnitude less than traditional interatomic distances, in other

words up to 99% of the tail of the Coulomb barrier is lost, we

should have fusion rates in the orders 10e-8 - 10e-9 per nucleon

per sec. An apparently small number but in 1cm3 of D-D this should

still lead to at least 10e15 fusion reactions per sec, neglecting

any chain reactions. This is equivalent to >100 Watts/sec, a

huge amount!

I agree that the tail contributes considerably. I get a factor

e^-10 = 5*10^-5 for the ratio of penetration between r = 10^-10 and

10^-12 m. Barrier penetration is, however, not everything. Cross

section is important. The talk deals with H and not D. For fusion of H

you need to employ the weak force. This is lucky since otherwise we

would not exist.

To put in perspective, the mean energy production in the sun is

4*10^26/2*(10^30) = 0.0002 W/kg at in excess of 10 million K. (OK, you

will have to correct for the fact that there is fusion only in the

centre.)

How come we have not discovered spontaneous fusion in H_2? And in D_2

the rate would be enormous and the signals (p and n) very obvious. If I

were Lewis Larsen I would say that the effect heats up Jupiter!

Yes, you may have tunnelling for nm distances but only for light particles like electrons.

If one accepts your fusion rates (whatever W/s is), how come Holmlid is still alive? That flux of neutrons would be easy to detect.