Fusion reactions in plasmas as probe of the high-momentum tail of particle distributions
Ist. Naz. Fisica Nucleare (I.N.F.N.) Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy and Dipart. di Fisica dell'Università di Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Torino, C. so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy and Ist. Naz. Fisica Nucleare (I.N.F.N.) Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy
Revised: 14 December 2005
Published online: 12 April 2006
In fusion reactions, the Coulomb barrier selects particles from the high-momentum part of the distribution. Therefore, small variations of the high-momentum tail of the velocity distribution can produce strong effects on fusion rates. In plasmas several potential mechanisms exist that can produce deviations from the standard Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. Quantum broadening of the energy-momentum dispersion relation of the plasma quasi-particles modifies the high-momentum tail and could explain the fusion-rate enhancement observed in low-energy nuclear reaction experiments.
PACS: 05.20.Dd – Kinetic theory / 25.60.Pj – Fusion reactions / 51.10.+y – Kinetic and transport theory of gases / 52.70.Nc – Particle measurements
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006